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Legal position on civil partnerships

15 December 2011


From the Secretary General of the General Synod

Sir, — It would indeed be sad if the Secretary General “felt the need to instruct churches”, as the Revd Anne Bennett writes (Letters, 9 December) — given that he has no power to do any such thing.

The note that I issued on 1 December, together with an analysis from the Legal Office, was a briefing note to Synod members about parliamentary legislation affecting places of worship throughout England and Wales, which was to come into force on 5 December.

Given the range of views that exist on the issue of civil partner­ships and the confusion in some quarters about what the new Regulations mean, it was important for Synod members to have a factual, explanatory note.

Anyone misled by press reports into thinking that the note was a statement of new policy is encouraged to read the note (GS Misc 1005), which is available on the Church of England website.

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