Some of you will be aware that a group of people have asked the Judicial Committee of General Synod for a formal explanation of Clause 4 of Motion 30 passed by General Synod this year. The Motion came as a response to the report of the Ma Whea? Commission set up to see if we could find a way forward with the vexed question of whether people in committed same sex relationships can be ordained. We are deeply divided on this issue and the divisions have not yielded to debate. The aim of Motion 30 was to see if there is a possible way for us to remain together despite the deep differences between us. At the same time it clearly puts forward a pathway to change. A working group has been set up to do the work outlined in the Motion and report to General Synod in 2016.
Clause 4 reads as follows
“Clergy who so wish are permitted to recognise in public worship a same-gender civil union or state marriage of members of their faith community:
(a) with the permission of their licensing Bishop; and
(b) with the permission of their Vestry or equivalent leadership body.
Such recognition cannot be marriage or a rite of blessing of a same-gender relationship.
We recognise that this may cause even further distress. Noting the commitment of the Church demonstrated in clauses 1 to 4 above, we ask the LGBT community to recognise that any process of change within our Church takes time.”
The Judicial Committee has been asked to clarify the meaning of this clause and whether it is in breach of the Constitution.
Formal submission has been made and the interested parties given the opportunity to respond to the question. In return the applicants have given their reply and now await a formal hearing of the Application by the Judicial Committee.
Please continue to pray for all concerned in this.
NB This Application is NOT an attempt to limit discussion as has been suggested by some!