*** DEBUG END ***

Anglican Church in New Zealand to allow gay blessings in churches

11 May 2018

Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia

THE Anglican Church in New Zealand is to allow blessings of same-sex marriages or civil unions after a landmark vote at its general synod on Wednesday.

The vote was subject to the appointment of a select committee, which will consider and report back to the synod this week on the con­stitutional and canonical changes needed before blessings can be offered.

But, in a statement on its website, the Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia said: “The decision, none the less, is clear: after almost 50 years of debate about human sexuality, the Anglican Church has created a pathway for the blessing of same-gender couples.”

Blessings would not be written as formal liturgy, but, instead, would be given informally, the motion said. The motion will allow bishops to give permission to priests under their juris­diction to bless same-sex relationships, or to deny it (News, 11 August 2017).

Speaking in the debate, the Dean of Waiapu Cathedral, the Very Revd Ian Render, who is gay, and married, said: “Thank you for the graciousness that I have experienced in these past couple of days. Please give me, and others, a place to stand.”

The motion was opposed by the Church in Polynesia, which said that the move would not be accepted in the Polynesian Islands. Members abstained from the final vote, and the motion passed comfortably.

Two members of the synod, the Revd Jay Behan, who chairs the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans New Zealand, and the Revd Al Drye announced their immediate resignations.

In a letter, they said: “The passing of this report finds us left behind and unable to move forward with you in good conscience.”

“We leave with no anger or bitterness in our hearts, and we wish you the best as you seek to serve the Lord Jesus Christ.”

In a statement, the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans New Zealand said: “While we are thankful for the gracious spirit in which the debate was held, we disagree with the final outcome. We believe the General Synod has acted in a way which leaves behind biblical authority, the apostolic tradition, and the doctrine and practice our Church has always held.”

Browse Church and Charity jobs on the Church Times jobsite

Forthcoming Events

Green Church Awards

Awards Ceremony: 6 September 2024

Read more details about the awards


Festival of Preaching

15-17 September 2024

The festival moves to Cambridge along with a sparkling selection of expert speakers

tickets available



Festival of Faith and Literature

28 February - 2 March 2025

The festival programme is soon to be announced sign up to our newsletter to stay informed about all festival news.

Festival website


ViSIt our Events page for upcoming and past events 

Welcome to the Church Times


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

Non-subscribers can read four articles for free each month. (You will need to register.)