THE diocese of Nelson has carried a synodical motion setting out a “modified declaration of adherence and submission to the Church” in the wake of the decision by the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia to allow blessings of same-sex marriages or civil unions — a change that the motion describes as “inconsistent with the Doctrine of Christ”.
A statement from the Standing Committee said that the motion enabled “those concerned about the move away from orthodox theology to make the declaration in good conscience and remain within the Church”.
In his weekly bulletin this week, the Dean of Nelson, the Very Revd Mike Hawke, said that a lay canon, Karen Jordan, had decided to step down “as we try and undo some unfortunate wording in a motion at Synod last week”.
He wrote: “By using a word ‘impaired’ we inadvertently let it be imagined that this diocese was in some ways separate to everyone else. This is not the case. A better word would have been a ‘strained’ relationship. . . We know . . . that words can take on various meanings depending on who is using them and how they are used. It must be difficult for those who learned English as a second language without knowing all the peculiar nuances of English.”
Two Synod representatives, Graham Allan and Jocelyn Smith, write in the bulletin of their opposition to the motion, which many saw as “a truculent or antagonistic approach”.