Meeting with Bishop Gregor re Same Sex Marriage consultation

Our bishops in the Scottish Episcopal Church are behaving rather differently towards the same-sex marriage consultation than the leaders of some churches. Instead of fulminating publicly about it, there is a different response which seems to me to be a bit more grown up.

This week, Bishop Gregor is offering an opportunity for members of the diocese (clergy and laity) to discuss issues raised with regard to the Scottish Government’s Consultation on Civil Partnership and Same-Sex Marriage.

Here’s his invitation:

The document can be found here: if you intend to come along to the afternoon it will be beneficial to have previously read the document.

The Provincial Faith and Order Board are preparing a response on behalf of the Scottish Episcopal Church.

Please note that this afternoon is not to produce a response from this diocese, although the Scottish Government would welcome individual and group responses to the document by Friday December 9th.

The meeting takes place at 2 pm in St Bartholomew’s Church in Gourock on Saturday 19 November 2011. (UPDATED to show correct date)

I think that’s a good thing. There doesn’t seem to be any great hysteria in our church about this. We know that some churches will not want to get involved and I’m sure that most people welcome the assurances that no-one is going to be forced to celebrate any religious wedding that they don’t want to. (No-one has a right to be married by any particular religious person or group at the moment, so this will simply remain the case). There will be those in our church who want to proceed to marry same-sex couples and there will be those who will not. The best way for us to stick together as a denomination is by respecting all such views just as we have done with regard to blessing couples who have had a civil partnership. No-one has been forced to bless such couples. Some people have blessed such couples. It is very similar indeed to the case of couples where at least one party has been married before. There are some clergy who will not conduct such ceremonies but there are plenty of us who do and there is a thoughtful pastoral process to enable such weddings to take place.

Thus there is already divergent practise over both blessings and marriage. The world has not ended by that diversity and our unity in Christ remains unbroken.


  1. Rosemary Hannah says

    Yes diversity and calm would seem to be the way forward. And I think that the strident voices of the real extremists are quieting down. Still there, though. I did draw some comfort from the fact that when +David’s blog got targeted by extremists, they were not ‘Piskies, they were not Scots, and the worst of them spent more time denying climate change than arguing against LGBT sanity, suggesting to me his grasp of empiricalism was weak.

  2. Kennedy says

    The date for this is November 19 at Gourock.


  3. Yes, thanks Kennedy – post amended.

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