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Scottish Episcopal Church to review and possibly revise marriage canon

Scottish Episcopal Church to review and possibly revise marriage canon

The Scottish Episcopal Church has voted to review and possibly revise their canons to allow for same-sex marriage.

The Synod today instructed the Church’s Faith and Order Board to begin the two year process which may lead towards canonical change. That change would potentially allow the marriage of same gendered couples in Church in late 2017.

The option which Synod voted for states: Removal of section 1 of Canon 31. General Synod also decided to add a conscience clause that ensures that no cleric would be obliged to solemnize a marriage against their conscience.

The Most Rev David Chillingworth, Bishop of St Andrews, Dunkeld & Dunblane and Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church said: “Our General Synod has taken two important steps forward today.

“We have decided that we wish to consider possible change to our Marriage Canon. We have identified one possible expression of that change.

“This potentially creates a situation in which same-Sex marriages could be celebrated in churches of the Scottish Episcopal Church.

“That would also allow our clergy to enter into same-sex marriages. It is important to realise that at this point this is an indicative decision only.

“Any change to the Canon will require the normal two year process and two thirds majorities will be required. That process will begin at General Synod 2016 and cannot be complete until General Synod 2017″

Posted by Andrew Gerns.


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Daniel Lamont

There is a detailed report on the meeting of the SEC synod here The account of the debate is interesting. I am also struck by the understanding and courtesy shown in the exchanges between synod members

JC Fisher

Thanks be to God! Scotland the BRAVE shows the Gospel way…

Kelvin Holdsworth

Chris Seitz now says I would be happy for “the conservatives” to leave the Scottish Episcopal Church.

This is simply not true. Please note – I’ve never, so far as I know, met Mr Seitz. He doesn’t represent my views.

The editors of this site might consider the legitimacy of publishing untruthful comments.

Jon White

As you might note from our comment policy, we expect respectful truthfulness – “Comments that use non-PG rated language, include personal attacks, that are not provable as fact or that we deem in any way to to be counter to our mission of fostering respectful dialogue will not be posted.”

We will happily edit the comment in question – Editor

David Allen

He has published his opinion once. You have now personally refuted what he has said. That will be the end of it.

Bro David

Daniel Lamont

The Synod of the SEC has carefully prepared for this proposed change to the canon, had preliminary discussions, has shared worship and had a careful debate. In the light of all this the synod has decided what it wishes to do by a large majority and I am sure that they will have been aware of the consequences of their action. I for one welcome it. If in the course of doing what it decides to to people leave the SEC, so be it. On the other hand, the decision may encourage people to join it. Yes, the SEC is tiny and poor and may become tinier and poorer but anyone who knows its history will know that it has been persecuted and reduced to almost nothing – as what was called the ‘suffering remnant of a church’ – but it has survived. I am sure that it will survive this course of action on which it has embarked. Numbers don’t always matter. Synod has done what it perceives to be the right thing…It remains to be seen if large numbers of people do actually leave the church.


Ann Fontaine

Read what Kelvin Holdsworth, Provost at St. Mary’s has to say about what went on at Synod and the discussion.
“There were many speeches that surprised me. Several folk whom I expected to speak against what I hoped for, spoke about their journey to a new understanding of sexuality. We witnessed one almost damascene conversion. And one of the most prominent people in the church came out as a settled married bisexual whom though now married to his wife had previously loved a man. And the thing was, that wasn’t the most talked about thing of the day. It was just something we learned that we didn’t already know.”

Professor Christopher Seitz

I can assure you that the rectors and parishioners I am referring to at the SEC’s largest parishes know Kelvin well…nothing he says is relevant to my comments above. These are sizeable parishes in the population belt and they are not divided on these matters.

David Allen

And yet Kelvin’s experience with folks from those very congregations yesterday doesn’t match up with how well you think that you know the SEC;

Within minutes of the vote being announced I saw someone predicting on a US website that three of our churches would leave the Scottish Episcopal Church over this and take 40% of our membership with them. It will be news for those churches that they represent that proportion of the membership of the SEC. Notwithstanding the strength of those particular churches they don’t represent anything near that percentage.

In any case, one of those churches which is near where I live is simply not of one mind about these things. The rector of another told us of the gay folk in his congregation and how clear it was that they were welcome to marriage preparation classes. The rectors of those churches tried to bring in the possibility of opening marriage to same-sex couples by a different route to the one we eventually chose. That was costly and generous of them all.

From Ann’s link above.

Bro David

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