By The Revd Dr Andrew Burgess, Bishopdale College, Nelson
I am not a Bishop, or a Vicar General, nor an Archdeacon. I’m not even a member of Standing Committee. I’m just ‘Burge’ … but I want to offer my thoughts as someone who ‘represented’ Nelson Diocese at the General Synod.
The General Synod or Te Hinota Whanui of the Anglican Church in these islands voted to adopt the recommendations of what we have been calling Motion 29 report. (The actual motion at the 2018 meeting we just had was Motion 7, just to confuse things, but it adopted the Motion 29 recommendations, with some minor changes.)
I don’t want to try and go into detail on the report – for many people reading this the key issue is straight-forward, and that is the acceptance of blessings for same-sex couples in a civil union or marriage. The church, as a whole, agreed to allow Bishops to choose to have some sort of service or part of a service written, and for those Bishops to allow an ordained Anglican minister to use that material for a blessing of a civil union or civil marriage, regardless of the gender of the couple, and so on.