*** DEBUG START ***
*** DEBUG END ***

Clergy couple in Wangaratta diocese’s first same-sex marriage blessing

11 December 2020

iStock

TWO retired male clergy from the regional Victorian diocese of Wangaratta have had their civil marriage blessed, using the liturgy cleared recently by the Anglican Church of Australia’s highest court, the Appellate Tribunal (News, 13 November). The blessing, presided over by the retired Bishop of Wangaratta, the Rt Revd John Parkes, in a low-key ceremony in a small country church, is believed to be the first time at which the liturgy has been used.

The Revd Dr John Davis and the Revd Robert Whalley, who have been partners for more than 20 years, were married in Melbourne in September last year under the Australian Government legislation amended to permit same-sex marriage.

Their marriage was to be blessed a few days later, after the passing of the blessing liturgy by the Wangaratta synod. But the blessing was delayed until the Tribunal brought down its decision; last month, the Tribunal announced its majority decision that the liturgy was not inconsistent with the Church’s Constitution, or Canon Law.

The Standing Committee in Sydney diocese, however, has carried a resolution “entirely” rejecting the Tribunal decision. The resolution says: “We stand with brothers and sisters all over the world who have resisted the attempt to bless what God does not bless and to ignore the teaching of Scripture on the extreme danger of the behaviour endorsed by the proposed services of blessing.

“We are deeply saddened that the delivery of this opinion further disturbs the hard-won unity of the church.”

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

 

Inspiration: The Influences That Have Shaped My Life

September - November 2024

St Martin in the Fields Autumn Lecture Series 2024

tickets available

 

SAVE THE DATE

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 

Most Popular

Past Week
Past Month

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.)