Synod: Bill seeks ecumenical marriages

14 July 2017

iStock

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.

Forthcoming Events

16-18 February 2018
Church Times Festival of Faith & Literature

Our literary festival with a theological slant in Bloxham, Oxfordshire. Speakers include Francis Spufford, Ruth Valerio, Eve Poole, Mark Oakley, James Runcie and many others. Find out more

5-6 May 2018
Church Times Festival of Poetry
With Sarum College, Salisbury. More details coming soon - register your interest here

The Church Times Podcast

The Church Times Podcast, hosted by Tim Wyatt and Ed Thornton, features a mixture of interviews and news analysis. Listen online

Subscribe now to get full access

To explore the Church Times website fully, please sign in or subscribe.

Non-subscribers can read seven articles each month for free.