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Gay marriage a step closer in Scotland

17 March 2017


Official sign: a rainbow flag flies alongside Union and Scottish flags over the British Government's Scottish Office, in central London, in March, 2014, to mark the introduction of same-sex weddings in the UK

Official sign: a rainbow flag flies alongside Union and Scottish flags over the British Government's Scottish Office, in central London, in March, 201...

SIX of the seven diocesan synods of the Scottish Episcopal Church have voted in favour of a proposal to amend canon law to allow clerics to conduct marriages for same-sex couples in church, it was confirmed this week. Only the diocesan synod of Aberdeen & Orkney voted against the change.

A first reading of the motion to remove from Canon 31 the doctrinal statement that marriage is to be understood as a union “of one man and one woman” was passed by the Church’s General Synod, last year.

The motion was discussed by the seven diocesan synods, and approved by the majority of them on Saturday. A second reading will now be debated during the next sessions of the General Synod, in Edinburgh, from 8 to 10 June. A two-thirds majority must be obtained in the houses of bishops, clergy, and laity for the reading to be passed and the law changed.

A spokeswoman for the General Synod said on Tuesday that the amendment to Canon 31 would include a “conscience clause” to ensure that clerics opposed to the change would not be required to marry couples of the same sex. She also warned that the General Synod’s approval of a first reading was the “first step in a process”, and did not represent a final decision.

Changing Attitude Scotland, a network of friends and members of the LGBT community within the Church, welcomed diocesan support for the proposal, which, the group said, had been “deliberately aimed at respecting the conscience of all in the Church by not forcing anyone to affirm a doctrinal statement about marriage which they disagree with”.

Speaking after the voting concluded on Saturday, the Convener of Changing Attitude Scotland, Dr Beth Routledge, said: “It has been very moving to hear of so many speeches that have affirmed the wish for same-sex couples to be able to walk down the aisles in our churches. We are delighted at the positive votes cast that have sup­ported this change to the canon, and we hope that they point the way to this wish soon becoming the reality of the Church.”

Job of the Week


Priest in Charge (Rector Designate)

London and Home Counties

Our suburban parish on the border between the London Borough of Croydon and the lovely Surrey countryside and with a spacious modern Rectory, is seeking a Priest-in-Charge (Rector Designate) to lead our church as we seek to fulfil our mission to proclaim Jesus, change lives and serve our community.   We are looking for a leader who, with energy and dynamism, who will develop the vision for the church to enable the children and families work to be a priority in order to grow the church both in numbers and spiritual maturity. In addition, the new person will care and tend for the existing ageing congregation many of whom have ¬faithfully served the church for many years.   The person we are looking for should have: strong communication skills, the ability to engage and encourage people across the age ranges and to convey the church’s mission, vision and priorities; a commitment to preach the Word of God in thoughtful and stimulating ways; an energy and dynamism probably more extrovert than introvert; a pastoral heart, showing empathy and good listening skills, the ability, willingness and experience to help us to develop and enjoy a variety of worship styles, including a wider range of musical worship and a deeper corporate prayer life -whilst recognising and valuing our heritage;   For further information and to apply, please click the 'apply for this job' button below.   For an informal conversation with the Archdeacon of Croydon, please contact the Archdeacon’s PA Kathleen.bailey@southwark.anglican.org to arrange a time for a phone conversation.   Closing Date: Sunday 12 June 2022 Parish Visit for shortlisted candidates: Monday 11 July 2022 Interviews: Monday 11 July 2022   Please note we have a policy in Southwark Diocese that to be appointed to an incumbent status post, a priest must have served a title in an Anglican church in the British Isles.   This post is subject to DBS enhanced disclosure

Situations vacant

Forthcoming Events

2 July 2022
Bringing Down the Mighty: Church, Theology and Structural Injustice
With Anthony Reddie, Azariah France-Williams, Mariama Ifode-Blease, Luke Larner, Will Moore, Stewart Rapley and Victoria Turner.

4-8 July 2022
HeartEdge Mission Summer School
From HeartEdge and St Augustine’s College of Theology.

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