Synod: Bill seeks ecumenical marriages

14 July 2017

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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.

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