*** 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

 

Church Times/RSCM:

Festival of Faith and Music

26 - 28 April 2024

See the full programme on the festival website. 

Early bird tickets available

 

Intercultural Church for a Multicultural World

28 May 2024

A Church Times/Church House Publishing webinar

Tickets are FREE

 

Church Times/Modern Church:

A Political Faith?

Monday 3 June 2024

This panel will explore where Christians have come to in terms of political power and ask, where should we go next?

Online tickets available

 

Church Times/Modern Church:

Participating in Democracy

Monday 10 June 2024

This panel will explore the power of voting, and power beyond voting.

Online tickets available

 

Green Church Awards

Closing date: 30 June 2024

Read more details about the awards

 

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.)