CoE to vote on increasing gay partner benefits for clergy

Next month’s General Synod of the Church of England will probably have another round of controversial voting when a motion to increase the benefits of same-sex couples to that of traditionally married clergy is considered. At present the Church of England bars clergy from living in active gay relationships but does recognize civil partnerships on the condition that the partners are not sexually active.


While activists within the CoE hope that the passage of such a motion will signal a break through in the treatment and acceptance of gay and lesbian Christians in that church, there are financial considerations likely to come into play:

Church commissioners fear that extending the law to provide homosexual clergy with equal benefits could cripple the pensions scheme, which Shaun Farrell, chief executive of the Church’s Pensions Board, has already admitted has a “huge great hole” in it.

From here and here.

There are two background papers prepared for the debate here and here.

Here’s the agenda for the synod. The debate on civil partnership benefits is scheduled for the afternoon of February 11th.

Category : The Lead

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5 Comments
  1. Rod Gillis

    It is a matter of labor justice that the Church of England fund pension benefits for clergy living in domestic partnerships. The full article from The Telegraph reports: “Around 200 priests are believed to have entered civil partnerships since they were introduced in 2004 and the move to provide greater pension benefits for their partners could cost the Church millions of pounds.” So, Rowan Williams lobbies the American and Canadian Churches about the seriousness of what we are doing with regard to our place in the Communion. At the same time hundreds of C of E priests are living in domestic partnerships (I know, I know, they are celibate partnerships, right?). Oh I get it, wink wink, nudge nudge, under the radar, keep the instruments of “unity” smiling.

    -Rod Gillis

  2. Let me get this right. The Church of England pays Gay priests less than Straight priests.

    Equalizing pay for these 200 Gay priests would cost millions of pounds and break the bank – because the Church underfunds the pensions of Straight clergy families too.

    The Gay priests are only allowed to keep their jobs if they declare their relationships are celibate. Straight priests don’t have to do that. It’s a “moral issue,” y’see. Heterosexual relationships are superior to Gay ones, it says so right in the Bible. Hetero marriages are marked by love and fidelity, while Gay unions lack social and financial support and are marked by… well, it can’t be greed, can it? Maybe love and fidelity?

    Meanwhile Rowan Williams is running around telling everyone that WE are straining the bonds of affection.

    Tell me again why we’re supposed to stay connected to these hypocrites. Tell me again why American parishioners have to cough up $1.1 million for tea parties on the lawn at Lambeth, and still more for Consultative Councils and Primates’ Meetings and “covenant” conclaves we may or may not be allowed to attend, immoral as we are for one little bishop in New Hampshire.

    Remember the old days in AOL chat rooms, when you could put someone on Ignore? That’s what all of England has done to the Church, and we ought to follow their example.

  3. Tom Downs

    It’s ironic. On Thinking Anglicans this bill is listed right above two bills to recognize the Anglican Church of North America. The explanation justifies this based on TEC’s supposed persecution of those clergy and members who left to form this rump group.

  4. Straining the bonds of credulity is more like it.

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