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Methodists assess views of members

06 December 2013

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 Methodists' opinions.

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 2014.

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.


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