THE Methodist Church has begun a consultation to assess its
members' views on same-sex marriage and civil partnerships. A
working group set up by the Methodist Conference in July, to
consider whether the Church's position on marriage needed to adapt
to changes in society, has released a questionnaire to gather
After the passing of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act, the
working group met those attending the Methodist Church's youth
conference 3Generate. Now, it is opening the consultation to all
Methodists, and has set a deadline for replies of 10 February
Currently, the Methodist Church teaches that God's intention is
that marriage should be a lifelong union between one woman and one
man. The Church's standing orders also forbid Methodist churches to
conduct services of blessing for same-sex couples.
Susan Howdle, who chairs the same-sex marriage and civil
partnerships working party, said: "We do urge as many Methodists as
possible to respond, thoughtfully and prayerfully, to the
consultation, in order to help us to gauge the mind of the Church.
We hope the timescale will allow at least some of the responses to
be from groups who have met for discussion, but individual re-
sponses are equally welcome."
The questionnaire states that it is "not a poll on the views of
homosexuality amongst Methodists". Rather, it says that it is
seeking views on what the implications of legalising same-sex
marriage might be for the Church.