*** DEBUG END ***

Wangaratta same-sex marriage rite used to bless couple in Armidale diocese

14 January 2022

St Matthew's, Albury

St Matthew’s, Albury

St Matthew’s, Albury

THE same-sex-marriage blessing rite authorised by the diocese of Wangaratta in rural Victoria in 2019 (News, 6 September 2019) has been used to bless a marriage that caused controversy in the diocese of Armidale in New South Wales last year.

Peter Sanders, who married his husband, Peter Grace, in 2020, was the organist in the parish of St Mary’s, West Armidale. He left the parish after he reported being told by the diocesan leadership last year that he could no longer play the organ unless he and his husband separated. Many members of the congregation who supported Mr Sanders have since left the parish to worship in a house church led by a Uniting Church minister.

The couple’s marriage was blessed in St Matthew’s, Albury, on 2 January, during the main worship service, using the Wangaratta liturgy, which was cleared for use by the Anglican Church of Australia’s highest court, the Appellate Tribunal, in late 2020. The blessing was given by the Rector, the Revd Peter MacLeod-Miller, a vocal advocate for the LGBTQIA+ community.

A message of support from the Bishop of Wangaratta, the Rt Revd Clarence Bester, was read during the service. Bishop Bester said that he was praying that “the love and care for the ministry offered today may restore hope and dignity to all those who feel sidelined.” Fr MacLeod-Miller told the congregation: “We are celebrating a better, kinder world, and also a real change.”

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


Church Times/Sarum College:

Traditions of Christian Spirituality

January - May 2024

This is a five-part series on major strands of the Christian spiritual tradition.

Book individual session tickets or sign up for the full programme


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.)