Legal position on civil partnerships

by
15 December 2011

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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.

WILLIAM FITTALL
Church House
Great Smith Street
Westminster
London SW1P 3AZ

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