The Church in Wales Embraces the Zeitgeist
Meeting on Monday 6 September, the Governing Body of the Church in Wales, voted to approve same-sex blessings but stopped short of approving marriage.
The change does not allow for same-sex marriages in a Church in Wales building but it does wed the rapidly declining denomination to the number of western Anglican provinces that have officially embraced the Zeitgeist, or the Spirit of the Age.
The statement from the Governing Body was short: “A Bill to authorise a service for blessing same-sex partnerships is passed by the Church’s Governing Body today”.
Before the vote, the House of Bishops issued an explanatory memorandum.
“Approval of this rite would be stating that the Church in Wales accepts that the loving and faithful commitment of two person of the same sex, aspiring to life-long fidelity and mutual comfort, and who have made a commitment in civil partnership or marriage, is worthy of acceptance by the church by asking God’s blessing upon their commitment”.
The bishops went onto say the change to centuries of received biblical would be a, “step on the way towards repentance of a history in the church which has demonised and persecuted gay and lesbian people, forcing them into fear, dishonesty and sometimes even hypocrisy, and which has precluded them from living publicly and honestly lives of committed partnership”.
Reports from the meeting, said that the House of Laity passed the Bill by a 49 – 10 margin. There was 1 abstention. In the House of Clergy the vote was 28 – 12 with two abstentions. All bishops voted in favour of the departure from biblical standards.
The Revd Philip de Grey-Warter, Rector of Anchor Church, Fowey, Cornwall and a member of the Standing Committee in both the Anglican Convocation in Europe (ACE) and Anglican Network in Europe told the English Churchman:
“ACE/ANiE are ready to provide an ecclesial home under GAFCON for those who will unchurched by the Church in Wales’ decision to depart from the faith once delivered to the saints”.