Made in Scotland with Love

Today is my ordination anniversary. Nineteen years ago today on St Columba’s day I was ordained priest. For most of that time I’ve been promoting the fundamental equality of gay and straight people in the church. With others, I founded Changing Attitude Scotland 13 years ago.

And so it will surprise no one that I’m excited by the vote, overwhelming in two houses, on a knife edge in the house of clergy, yesterday, that means that those who wish, in the Scottish Episcopal Church will be able to conduct marriage services for same sex couples.

It isn’t a way of doing it that would have been my first choice. If I could have had what I wanted I’d have had a straight vote committing the church to equality and marriages of same sex couples everywhere. But that won’t happen. The church chose a different route, simply respecting the conciences of all – those in favour and those against. It was, in the end, a better motion than I would have devised.

I was moved beyond words yesterday to hear the speeches in Synod. Moved by people, unlikely people sometimes, who agree with me. Moved too by the presence of those who don’t agree but who see this as the only answer that will give us peace. And moved by those who disagree, those for whom this decision weighs heavily.

But I was moved overall that we are a church that just chose overwhelmingly to stay together over gay marriage. We need and love one another.

In the end I didn’t speak in the debate. My church spoke for me and I’m proud of it.

This wasn’t a vote about gay people. It was a vote about what kind of church we want to be.

This is a mainstream Anglican response to the question that has beset us. Not building windows into other men’s souls and also respecting the consciences of all. This is what Anglicans do. This is who we really are. And this is the only solution that will work in the Anglican Communion. Let it be seized on by all who seek peace and goodwill.

This solution to the Anglican agonies of recent years bears the label – Made in Scotland for Export.

Made in Scotland with love.


  1. Father Ron Smith says

    Dear Father, Kelvin; a most loving and generous response to the outcome of SEC’s Synod. Much as you and I might want to achieve overall acceptance of Equal Marriage embraced by everyone, we have come to realise that this could never be possible – if we are to be the ‘broad Church that most Anglicans, thank God, think is our strength and value to the world.

    What SEC has done – together with TEC and the Anglican Church of Canada, is to step outside of the cordon of ‘respectability’ in order to deliver Christ-like justice for all.

  2. Sr Helena says

    God bless you, Kelvin. Ad multos annos! And well said.

  3. Yes and I believe the bulk of Scotland’s trade (around 95 per cent) is with the UK so here’s hoping this solution gets exported to the rest of the UK prompto!

  4. Thanks, Kelvin.
    I have quoted your post in my reflection that I have previously proposed this as the solution for NZ Anglicanism:



  5. Meg Rosenfeld says

    This is tremendous news indeed, and I am very moved, not only by the decision itself, and the joy it will cause among those who have heretofore been unable to marry, but by your overwhelmingly gracious and humble acceptance of the whole constellation of feelings represented by those voting. May this be the beginning of a new era of peace in the church, at least as far as this subject is concerned.

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