Civil Partnerships in Church? UK Government report…
The UK Government will lift the ban on Civil Partnerships taking place in religious buildings next month and churches in England and Wales will be able to apply to register partnerships in the new year.
That is the central message of the report which has just been published by the government following its recent consultation. Accepting Evangelicals contributed to the consultation alongside 145 other organizations, and we successfully argued for a structure which would allow churches to opt in whenever they were ready to do so.
Churches will, however need to get the permission of their appropriate governing body. For the Church of England this is the General Synod, and for the Methodist Church, the national Conference. Although General Synod has not debated this issue, a spokesperson for the CofE said that this means that Parish churches will not be able to apply for registration.
Question: If you are a church minister/vicar, we would like to hear whether your church would consider registering – if you were allowed to! Please email firstname.lastname@example.org
We will treat all replies in strictest confidence, but we would be interested to hear how many churches would like to opt into this new legislation, if it were permitted.
You can read the full report at http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/publications/equalities/lgbt-equality-publications/civilpartnership-response
Same Sex Marriage debate….
Also rising up the agenda in many countries is same sex marriage. Scotland has begun its consultation; The British Prime Minister has announced a consultation for 2012 on introducing legislation for same sex marriage; the Australian parliament is considering marriage equality; and of course, many States in the USA are continuing their debates.
While much of the debate on this issue revolves around equality laws, Christians will want to press for a faith based theological debate. Accepting Evangelicals is has been encouraging theological reflection on marriage for some time.
Follow the links to read ‘Towards a Theology of Gay Marriage?’ published in the Church of England Newspaper earlier this year, or listen to Australia’s ABC Radio National documentary on same sex marriage (which we contributed to).
What do you think? Let us know….
There are a couple of opportunities to hear our Secretary, Rev Benny Hazlehurst talk about Accepting Evangelicals over the next few months.
The first in next Tuesday 22nd November in Church Stretton, Shropshire when Benny will be speaking with the title ‘Confessions of a Pro-Gay Evangelical!’ – follow this link for more information or email Dave Griffin
The second is at Evangelical Fellowship’s Spring Conference next March, where the theme is ‘From Prejudice to Praise’. For more information please follow this link and scroll down to EF Spring Conference. Members of Accepting Evangelicals are welcome to attend.
If you would like Benny to come and speak at your church or event, please email us.
New advertising cards for Accepting Evangelicals are now available for church notice-boards, information stands, etc. They are available free from Accepting Evangelicals although donations are always welcome. Email us to order cards and please include your name, address, together with how many you would like us to send.
When you are passing on details of Accepting Evangelicals, please make sure you give them the correct web address. http://www.acceptingevangelicals.org/
That is because Christian Voice – a vocal anti-gay group – has bought the web domain name www.acceptingevangelicals.org.uk and redirects all visitors to their website.
It is a sad thing that another Christian organisation feels the need to try to mislead people in this way, and divert people who are looking for a more inclusive Christian approach.
Please do not be misled!
And finally, just in case you missed them…
here are some of the recent posts on the AE Blog:
- Well worth reading – with links to two articles including ’10 things I’ve learned about gay people in 10 years – a Christian perspective’
- Books – Jesus, the Bible and Homosexuality – by Jack Rogers. A review of this significant book.
- Bible Focus part 4 – Romans 1 – the last in our series on Bible verses which have been used to condemn same sex relationships
God Bless and Keep You