CHURCH of England churches could host non-Anglican wedding ceremonies if a Private Member’s Bill introduced in the House of Lords last month becomes law.
Lord Deben, the former Conservative minister John Gummer, proposed the Ecumenical Marriage Bill on 29 June.
If it succeeds in passing through the Lords and the Commons, it would allow C of E churches and chapels to host marriages according to the rites and ceremonies of other Christian denominations.
This could take place only with the permission of the incumbent, the parochial church council, and the bishop of the diocese. Such marriages could also only be solemnised by a minister who was licensed to do so in another denomination.
The Bill does not have the backing of the Church of England. A Church House spokeswoman said: “We see no need for Lord Deben’s Bill, and believe that the current arrangements give sufficient pastoral flexibility for weddings which are conducted in Anglican churches and chapels, involving people of different denominations.”
A date for the Second Reading has not been announced.