THE United Reformed Church has given its congregations nine
months to consider whether the Church should conduct same-sex
marriages, after its General Assembly failed to reach consensus on
The Assembly, which met in Cardiff this week, considered the
issue over three days, and debated a report that recommended that
those ministers who wished to conduct same-sex marriages should be
allowed to do so. Those whoseviews precluded their doing so, would
not be forced to conduct such services.
Although there was a majority of delegates in favour, the
general secretary, the Revd Roberta Rominga, said that the rules of
the Assembly required consensus in order to go forward, and some
members were still opposed.
Delegates instead agreed a resolution to send the issue back to
URC churches to discuss their views on the topic.
The resolution said: "A clear majority of members of Assembly
expressed the view that local congregations should be permitted to
offer same-sex marriage to those who seek that opportunity.
However, because our decision-making process is based on the
seeking of full consensus, Assembly was unable to reach
URC churches already conduct civil-partnership ceremonies.
Mrs Rominger said that the Assembly was "deeply prayerful". "In
our last vote, after much soul-searching, we were fully united in
agreeing a way forward which has the potential for enabling the
Church to journey further down the road together."