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URC to take nine more months before same-sex marriage decision

11 July 2014

by a staff reporter


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 issue.

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 agreement."

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."

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