London clergy seek right to choose

by
01 February 2012

by a staff reporter

Approved venue: a couple leave Chelsea Town Hall after their Civil Partnership ceremony in 2006 CHARLIE DAVE/FLICKR

Approved venue: a couple leave Chelsea Town Hall after their Civil Partnership ceremony in 2006 CHARLIE DAVE/FLICKR

MORE than 100 clerics in the dio­cese of London have written asking for the right to choose whether or not to officiate at civil-partnership ceremonies in church.

A letter sent yesterday to the London diocesan representatives on General Synod states: “We, the undersigned, believe that, on the issue of holding civil-partnership ceremonies in Church of England churches, incumbents/priests-in-charge should be accorded the same rights as they enjoy at present in the matter of officiating at the marriage of divorced couples in church. Namely, that this should be a matter for the individual conscience of the incumbent/priest-in-charge.

“We would respectfully request that our views in this regard are fully represented in Synod.”

The Government has relaxed the rules, so that now a civil partnership ceremony can be registered in a place of worship. It has, however, allowed exemptions, and the House of Bishops has insisted that the clergy observe a complete ban.

The letter challenging this ban originated at St Luke’s, Chelsea, where the Rector is Prebendary Brian Leathard. On Wednesday, he said that his motivation had been pastoral: “More and more people are coming to us, and feel that we are turning them away without being able to hear their story. They have a genuine desire for the Church’s fullest ministry, for us to bless their loving relationships.”

His request is for “something akin to the remarriage of divorcees when, under guidelines and in consultation with the bishop, priests act in accordance with their con­sciences”. The letter asks for permis­sive legislation: “There will be priests who do not want to do this, and I would respect their desire not to.”

He disagreed with the view that the present system spared the clergy from the responsibility of rejecting individual couples. “For those of us at the front line, there is no sense of hiding behind a blanket ban: we are still turning people away.”

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St Luke’s has not approached all the London clergy; none the less, Prebendary Leathard said: “This is a substantial proportion. We should like our General Synod represent­atives to hear this groundswell, and represent those views in the Synod.”

The full list of signatories is below.

We, the undersigned, believe that on the issue of holding civil partnership ceremonies in Church of England churches incumbents / priests in charge should be accorded the same rights as they enjoy at present in the matter of officiating at the marriage of divorced couples in church. Namely, that this should be a matter for the individual conscience of the incumbent / priest in charge.

We would respectfully request that our views in this regard are fully represented in Synod.

Rev. Preb. Brian Leathard, Rev. Dr. Jack Dunn
St. Luke’s with Christ Church, Chelsea, London, SW3

The Rt. Rev. Edward Holland
Hon. Assistant Bishop in London and Europe

The Rev. Canon Mark Oakley
Canon Treasurer, St. Paul’s Cathedral, London, EC4

The Rev. Canon. Dr. Giles Fraser
Former Canon Chancellor, St. Paul’s Cathedral, London, EC4

Rev. Lucy Winkett, Rev. Lindsay Meader, Rev. Hugh Valentine
St. James’s, Piccadilly, London, W1

Rev. Canon. Joe Hawes
All Saints, Fulham, SW6

 Rev. Gillean Craig
St. Mary Abbots, Kensington, W8

Rev. Ginny Thomas
St. Mary with St. Peter and St. Jude, West Brompton, SW10

Rev. Stephen Dando, Rev. Elaine Dando
St. Lawrence Church, Eastcote, Pinner, London, HA5

Rev. Preb. Ron Swan
PTO Diocese of London

Rev. Canon. John Record
St. Peter, Black Lion Lane, Hammersmith, London, W6

Rev. Alistair McCulloch
Chaplain, The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, London, SW3

Rev. Dr. Julie Gittoes
All Saints’ Church, Hampton, London, TW12

Rev. Robert Thompson
The Lead Chaplain: The Royal Brompton and Harefield NHS Foundation Trust, London, SW3

Rev. Dr. Martin Dudley
St. Bartholomew The Great, Smithfield, London, EC1

Rev. Laura Burgess
St. Botolph, Aldgate, London, E3N

 Rev. Stephen Mason, Rev. Dr. Brutus Green, Rev. Margaret Legg
St. John The Evangelist with St. Michael and All Angels, Hyde Park Crescent , London, W2

Rev. Craig Barber
Anglican Chaplain, London Metropolitan University, London, EC1

Rev. Monica Stewart, Rev. Imogen Vibert
St. Thomas, Stamford Hill, London, N16

Rev. David Peebles
St George Bloomsbury, London, WC1

Rev. Andrew Cain, Rev. Christine Cargill
St. James, West Hampstead and St. Mary with All Souls, London, NW6

Rev. Dr. Christina Beardsley
Head of Multi-Faith Chaplaincy, Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation, London, SW10

Rev. Dave Tomlinson
St. Luke, West Holloway, London, N7

Rev. Kevin Morris, Rev. Graham Morgan Kt., Rev. Stephen Stavrou
St. Michael and All Angels, Bedford Park, W4

Father Michael Moorhead
All Souls, Harlesden, London, NW10

Rev. Chris Swift
St. Mary Magdalene, Littleton and St. Nicholas, Shepperton, London, TW17

Rev. Jenny Welsh
St. Pancras Parish Church, London, NW1 and Chaplain to University College London

Rev. Hannah Reynolds
All Saints, Hanworth, London, TW13

Rev. Bruce Bridgewood
St. Peter-Le-Poer, Friern Barnet, London, N10

Rev. Nigel Orchard
Christ The Redeemer, Southall, London, UB1

Rev. Stephen Flatt
Head of Spiritual and Pastoral Care Services, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, London, W2

Rev. Stephen Coles
St. Thomas The Apostle, Finsbury Park, London, N4

Rev. David Wheeler, Rev. Paulette Mullings
St. Saviour, Wendell Park, London, W12

Rev. Will Baynes
St James the Less, Sussex Gardens, Paddington, W2 and PTO Diocese of London

Rev. Dr. Edward Norman
St. James Garlickhythe, London, EC4

Rev. Gerald Beauchamp
St. Cyprian, St. Marylebone, London, NW1 and The Annunciation, Bryanston Street, St. Marylebone, London, W1

Rev. Jeff Hopkin Williams
St. Mary The Virgin, Twickenham, London, TW1

Rev. Nicola Stanley. Rev. Andrew Williams
All Hallows, Twickenham, London, TW1

Rev. Jenny Petersen
Anglican Chaplain, St. Benet’s Ecumenical Chaplaincy, Queen Mary, University of London

Rev. Rachel Hawes
St. John, Notting Hill, London, W11

Rev. Paul Nicholson, Rev. Mark Speeks
St. Peter, Belsize Park and St. Saviour, South Hampstead, London, NW3

Rev. David Matthews
Holy Innocents with St. John, Hammersmith, London, W6

Rev. David Allen
St. Clement, Kings Square, London, EC1 and chaplain to Moorfields Eye Hospital and City University, London, EC1

Rev. Michael Fuller
The United Benefice of Holland Park, London, W8

Rev. Simon Grigg
St. Paul, Covent Garden,  London, WC2 and chaplain to the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, London, WC2

Rev. Philip Warner
St. Magnus The Martyr with St. Margaret New Fish Street and St Michael Crooked Lane, London, EC3

Rev. John Hawkins
St. John, West Hendon, London, NW4 and St. Matthias, Colindale, London, NW9

Rev. John Willmington, Rev. Brandy Pearson, Rev. Robert Pearson
Parish of Acton Green, London, W4

Rev. Bertrand Olivier
All Hallows-by-the-Tower, London, EC3

Rev. Ben Humphries
St. Stephen and St. Thomas, Shepherd’s Bush with St. Michael and St. George, White City Estate, London, W12

Rev. Margaret Evans
St. Stephen, Canonbury, London, N1

Rev. Simon Brandes
St. Nicholas with St. Mary Magdalene, Chiswick, London, W4

Rev. Jonathan Kester, Rev. Alysoun Whitton, Rev. Annette Fritze-Shanks
Emmanuel, West Hampstead, London, NW6

Rev. Graham Buckle, Rev. Debbie Hart
St. Paul, St. Marylebone, London, NW1

Rev. Canon. Chris Chivers
John Keble Church, Mill Hill, London, NW7

Rev. Martin McGonigle
St. Andrew, Southgate, London, N14

Rev. Christopher Cawrse
Holy Cross with St. Jude and St. Peter, St. Pancras, London, WC1

The Rev. Dr. Nicholas Henderson
St Martin's, West Acton, London W3 & All Saints, Ealing, London W5

Rev. Justin Gau
St. John of Jerusalem with Christ Church, South Hackney, London, E9

Rev. Dominic Fenton
Chaplain, North Middlesex Hospital, London, N18

Rev. Julia Porter-Pryce, Rev. Fraser Dyer
St. Peter, De Beauvoir Town, London, N1

Rev. Andrew Norwood
Chaplain, University of the Arts, London, WC1 and PTO Diocese of London

Rev. Melanie Toogood
St. George and All Saints, Tufnell Park, London, N7

Rev. Stephen Williams
Senior University Chaplain, Diocese of London

Rev Sr Helen Loder SSM
Leader, Sisters of the Society of St. Margaret, St. Saviour’s Priory, London, E2 and PTO, Stepney Area

Rev. Nigel Asbridge
St. Mary with St. John, Edmonton, London, N18

Rev. Dr. John Seymour
Chaplain, Twyford High School, London, W3

Rev Brian Ralph
St. Barnabas, Bethnal Green, London, E3

Rev. Evan. H. Jones
PTO, Stepney Area, London

Rev. Dr. Alan McCormack
St. Botolph Without Bishopsgate and St. Vedast alias Foster, London, EC2

Rev. Reuben Preston
St. Mary of Eton with St. Augustine, Hackney Wick, London, E9

Rev. Dr. Thaddeus Birchard
PTO Charing Cross, Archdeaconry, London

Rev. Edd Turner
St. Aldhelm, Edmonton, N18

Rev. Mark Osborne
St. John with St. James, Walham Green, Fulham, London, SW6

Rev. Peter Bernhard
PTO Stepney Episcopal Area, London

Rev. Stephen Tucker, Rev. Emma Smith
St. John, Hampstead, London, NW3

Rev. Preb. Tony Kyriakides-Yeldham
Palliative Care Chaplain, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, London, W2

Joe Moffatt, Rev. Mary Hawes
St. Mary with St. Alban, Teddington, London, TW11

Rev. Preb. Alan Green
St. John on Bethnal Green, London, E2

Rev. Dr. Malcolm Johnson
PTO London Diocese

Rev. Canon Garth Hewitt, Rev. Malcolm Doney, Rev. Chris Rose
All Hallows, London Wall, London, EC2

Rev. Andrew Willson
Chaplain, Imperial College, London, SW7

Rev. Patrick Tuft
Prebendary Emeritus of St. Paul’s Cathedral, London, EC4

Rev. George Pitcher
St. Bride’s, Fleet Street, London, EC4

Rev. Cindy Kent
St. John The Apostle, Whetstone, London, N20

Rev. Niall Weir
St. Paul, West Hackney, London, N16

Rev. Gary Bradley
Little Venice, London, W2

Rev. Canon Michael Ainsworth
St. George-in-the East with St. Paul, Cannon Street, London, E1

Rev. Preb. Adrian Benjamin
All Saints, Friern Barnet, London, N20

Rev. Preb. Alan Wynne, Rev. Jane Hodges
Poplar Team Ministry, London, E14

Rev. Bill Wilson
PTO Diocese of London

Rev. David Tuck
St. Alban, North Harrow, London, HA2

Rev. Robert Mitchell
Lead Chaplain, Royal Free Hampstead NHS Trust, London, NW3

Rev. Rosamond McDowell
St. Mary –Le-Bow, Cheapside, London, EC2

Rev. Graeme Watson
PTO Diocese of London

Rev. Preb. Michael Shrewsbury
Prebendary Emeritus of St. Paul’s Cathedral, London, EC4

Rev. Philippa Turner
Chaplain, Royal Veterinary College, London, NW1 and UCL Medical London, London, WC1

Rev. Philip Davison
St. Mary, Finchley, London, N3

The full list of signatories is below.

We, the undersigned, believe that on the issue of holding civil partnership ceremonies in Church of England churches incumbents / priests in charge should be accorded the same rights as they enjoy at present in the matter of officiating at the marriage of divorced couples in church. Namely, that this should be a matter for the individual conscience of the incumbent / priest in charge.

We would respectfully request that our views in this regard are fully represented in Synod.

Rev. Preb. Brian Leathard, Rev. Dr. Jack Dunn
St. Luke’s with Christ Church, Chelsea, London, SW3

The Rt. Rev. Edward Holland
Hon. Assistant Bishop in London and Europe

The Rev. Canon Mark Oakley
Canon Treasurer, St. Paul’s Cathedral, London, EC4

The Rev. Canon. Dr. Giles Fraser
Former Canon Chancellor, St. Paul’s Cathedral, London, EC4

Rev. Lucy Winkett, Rev. Lindsay Meader, Rev. Hugh Valentine
St. James’s, Piccadilly, London, W1

Rev. Canon. Joe Hawes
All Saints, Fulham, SW6

 Rev. Gillean Craig
St. Mary Abbots, Kensington, W8

Rev. Ginny Thomas
St. Mary with St. Peter and St. Jude, West Brompton, SW10

Rev. Stephen Dando, Rev. Elaine Dando
St. Lawrence Church, Eastcote, Pinner, London, HA5

Rev. Preb. Ron Swan
PTO Diocese of London

Rev. Canon. John Record
St. Peter, Black Lion Lane, Hammersmith, London, W6

Rev. Alistair McCulloch
Chaplain, The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, London, SW3

Rev. Dr. Julie Gittoes
All Saints’ Church, Hampton, London, TW12

Rev. Robert Thompson
The Lead Chaplain: The Royal Brompton and Harefield NHS Foundation Trust, London, SW3

Rev. Dr. Martin Dudley
St. Bartholomew The Great, Smithfield, London, EC1

Rev. Laura Burgess
St. Botolph, Aldgate, London, E3N

 Rev. Stephen Mason, Rev. Dr. Brutus Green, Rev. Margaret Legg
St. John The Evangelist with St. Michael and All Angels, Hyde Park Crescent , London, W2

Rev. Craig Barber
Anglican Chaplain, London Metropolitan University, London, EC1

Rev. Monica Stewart, Rev. Imogen Vibert
St. Thomas, Stamford Hill, London, N16

Rev. David Peebles
St George Bloomsbury, London, WC1

Rev. Andrew Cain, Rev. Christine Cargill
St. James, West Hampstead and St. Mary with All Souls, London, NW6

Rev. Dr. Christina Beardsley
Head of Multi-Faith Chaplaincy, Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation, London, SW10

Rev. Dave Tomlinson
St. Luke, West Holloway, London, N7

Rev. Kevin Morris, Rev. Graham Morgan Kt., Rev. Stephen Stavrou
St. Michael and All Angels, Bedford Park, W4

Father Michael Moorhead
All Souls, Harlesden, London, NW10

Rev. Chris Swift
St. Mary Magdalene, Littleton and St. Nicholas, Shepperton, London, TW17

Rev. Jenny Welsh
St. Pancras Parish Church, London, NW1 and Chaplain to University College London

Rev. Hannah Reynolds
All Saints, Hanworth, London, TW13

Rev. Bruce Bridgewood
St. Peter-Le-Poer, Friern Barnet, London, N10

Rev. Nigel Orchard
Christ The Redeemer, Southall, London, UB1

Rev. Stephen Flatt
Head of Spiritual and Pastoral Care Services, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, London, W2

Rev. Stephen Coles
St. Thomas The Apostle, Finsbury Park, London, N4

Rev. David Wheeler, Rev. Paulette Mullings
St. Saviour, Wendell Park, London, W12

Rev. Will Baynes
St James the Less, Sussex Gardens, Paddington, W2 and PTO Diocese of London

Rev. Dr. Edward Norman
St. James Garlickhythe, London, EC4

Rev. Gerald Beauchamp
St. Cyprian, St. Marylebone, London, NW1 and The Annunciation, Bryanston Street, St. Marylebone, London, W1

Rev. Jeff Hopkin Williams
St. Mary The Virgin, Twickenham, London, TW1

Rev. Nicola Stanley. Rev. Andrew Williams
All Hallows, Twickenham, London, TW1

Rev. Jenny Petersen
Anglican Chaplain, St. Benet’s Ecumenical Chaplaincy, Queen Mary, University of London

Rev. Rachel Hawes
St. John, Notting Hill, London, W11

Rev. Paul Nicholson, Rev. Mark Speeks
St. Peter, Belsize Park and St. Saviour, South Hampstead, London, NW3

Rev. David Matthews
Holy Innocents with St. John, Hammersmith, London, W6

Rev. David Allen
St. Clement, Kings Square, London, EC1 and chaplain to Moorfields Eye Hospital and City University, London, EC1

Rev. Michael Fuller
The United Benefice of Holland Park, London, W8

Rev. Simon Grigg
St. Paul, Covent Garden,  London, WC2 and chaplain to the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, London, WC2

Rev. Philip Warner
St. Magnus The Martyr with St. Margaret New Fish Street and St Michael Crooked Lane, London, EC3

Rev. John Hawkins
St. John, West Hendon, London, NW4 and St. Matthias, Colindale, London, NW9

Rev. John Willmington, Rev. Brandy Pearson, Rev. Robert Pearson
Parish of Acton Green, London, W4

Rev. Bertrand Olivier
All Hallows-by-the-Tower, London, EC3

Rev. Ben Humphries
St. Stephen and St. Thomas, Shepherd’s Bush with St. Michael and St. George, White City Estate, London, W12

Rev. Margaret Evans
St. Stephen, Canonbury, London, N1

Rev. Simon Brandes
St. Nicholas with St. Mary Magdalene, Chiswick, London, W4

Rev. Jonathan Kester, Rev. Alysoun Whitton, Rev. Annette Fritze-Shanks
Emmanuel, West Hampstead, London, NW6

Rev. Graham Buckle, Rev. Debbie Hart
St. Paul, St. Marylebone, London, NW1

Rev. Canon. Chris Chivers
John Keble Church, Mill Hill, London, NW7

Rev. Martin McGonigle
St. Andrew, Southgate, London, N14

Rev. Christopher Cawrse
Holy Cross with St. Jude and St. Peter, St. Pancras, London, WC1

The Rev. Dr. Nicholas Henderson
St Martin's, West Acton, London W3 & All Saints, Ealing, London W5

Rev. Justin Gau
St. John of Jerusalem with Christ Church, South Hackney, London, E9

Rev. Dominic Fenton
Chaplain, North Middlesex Hospital, London, N18

Rev. Julia Porter-Pryce, Rev. Fraser Dyer
St. Peter, De Beauvoir Town, London, N1

Rev. Andrew Norwood
Chaplain, University of the Arts, London, WC1 and PTO Diocese of London

Rev. Melanie Toogood
St. George and All Saints, Tufnell Park, London, N7

Rev. Stephen Williams
Senior University Chaplain, Diocese of London

Rev Sr Helen Loder SSM
Leader, Sisters of the Society of St. Margaret, St. Saviour’s Priory, London, E2 and PTO, Stepney Area

Rev. Nigel Asbridge
St. Mary with St. John, Edmonton, London, N18

Rev. Dr. John Seymour
Chaplain, Twyford High School, London, W3

Rev Brian Ralph
St. Barnabas, Bethnal Green, London, E3

Rev. Evan. H. Jones
PTO, Stepney Area, London

Rev. Dr. Alan McCormack
St. Botolph Without Bishopsgate and St. Vedast alias Foster, London, EC2

Rev. Reuben Preston
St. Mary of Eton with St. Augustine, Hackney Wick, London, E9

Rev. Dr. Thaddeus Birchard
PTO Charing Cross, Archdeaconry, London

Rev. Edd Turner
St. Aldhelm, Edmonton, N18

Rev. Mark Osborne
St. John with St. James, Walham Green, Fulham, London, SW6

Rev. Peter Bernhard
PTO Stepney Episcopal Area, London

Rev. Stephen Tucker, Rev. Emma Smith
St. John, Hampstead, London, NW3

Rev. Preb. Tony Kyriakides-Yeldham
Palliative Care Chaplain, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, London, W2

Joe Moffatt, Rev. Mary Hawes
St. Mary with St. Alban, Teddington, London, TW11

Rev. Preb. Alan Green
St. John on Bethnal Green, London, E2

Rev. Dr. Malcolm Johnson
PTO London Diocese

Rev. Canon Garth Hewitt, Rev. Malcolm Doney, Rev. Chris Rose
All Hallows, London Wall, London, EC2

Rev. Andrew Willson
Chaplain, Imperial College, London, SW7

Rev. Patrick Tuft
Prebendary Emeritus of St. Paul’s Cathedral, London, EC4

Rev. George Pitcher
St. Bride’s, Fleet Street, London, EC4

Rev. Cindy Kent
St. John The Apostle, Whetstone, London, N20

Rev. Niall Weir
St. Paul, West Hackney, London, N16

Rev. Gary Bradley
Little Venice, London, W2

Rev. Canon Michael Ainsworth
St. George-in-the East with St. Paul, Cannon Street, London, E1

Rev. Preb. Adrian Benjamin
All Saints, Friern Barnet, London, N20

Rev. Preb. Alan Wynne, Rev. Jane Hodges
Poplar Team Ministry, London, E14

Rev. Bill Wilson
PTO Diocese of London

Rev. David Tuck
St. Alban, North Harrow, London, HA2

Rev. Robert Mitchell
Lead Chaplain, Royal Free Hampstead NHS Trust, London, NW3

Rev. Rosamond McDowell
St. Mary –Le-Bow, Cheapside, London, EC2

Rev. Graeme Watson
PTO Diocese of London

Rev. Preb. Michael Shrewsbury
Prebendary Emeritus of St. Paul’s Cathedral, London, EC4

Rev. Philippa Turner
Chaplain, Royal Veterinary College, London, NW1 and UCL Medical London, London, WC1

Rev. Philip Davison
St. Mary, Finchley, London, N3

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