Hold the Front Page

The Herald has a helpful story today (page 3, actually) about the movement that is building in Scotland for Equal Marriage. Equal Marriage means opening up marriage to same-sex couples on the same basis as opposite-sex couples. It also means that anyone who can currently conduct weddings should be able to conduct weddings on the same basis for same-sex couples as opposite sex couples and in the same locations. In short it means no discrimination in law between gay couples and straight couples wanting to get married. (Anything else ain’t Equal Marriage).

Anyway, the article can be found here. There’s a pic of me taken yesterday in St Mary’s. (No, that’s not a crown I’m wearing, its just the altarpiece behind me!)

There is an interesting allusion to a poll conducted by the Scottish Green Party:

A poll of 1000 Scottish adults conducted on behalf of the Scottish Green Party in April found that 58% agreed that same sex couples should have the right to marry, while 19% disagreed.

The bits quoting me are as follows:

The Very Rev Kelvin Holdsworth, provost of St Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral in Glasgow, said he was strongly supportive of the idea. He said: “Anyone who can marry a couple currently should be able to marry same sex-couples.

“This is about justice for everyone. Civil partnerships have been a wonderful thing, but they are not equal; being separate isn’t being equal and the Government would be wise to move towards equality as soon as possible.”

He said the argument that allowing gay marriage could threaten the institution of marriage, was “a silly idea”. “I don’t think any gay couple have ever made a married couple feel less married,” he said.

There is also an editorial

Equality of treatment under the law is a much-vaunted bedrock of British society. So is marriage. Those who argue that the concept of marriage is weakened by extending it to gay and lesbian couples should consider whether the opposite might be true and that allowing same-sex couples to marry would be a public statement of support for the values they rightly cherish.

St Bartholomew the Great

A number of years ago, I lived in London for a bit, working as a lay person in the University of London in the East End. They were much happier years than ever I expected them to be, notwithstanding the fact that I was exploring my vocation at the time, a process which was horrid.

In the course of all this, I belonged for a time to a church in the City. It was St Bartholomew the Great in Smithfield, the church about which there is a bit of a fuss this week. It is an astonishingly beautiful space inside, yet I never managed to figure out just why. The height, the collegiate seating, the apse just seem to come together in a way that is perfect. There is one of my favourite pictures of Mary in the Lady Chapel too. All in all, a treat.

It is the only church that I’ve ever belonged to which had exclusively prayer book services. Indeed, it was very establishment indeed – far from being a radical place at all.

My favourite recollection of the place was a day when I was due to meet the Rector for a chat. “We can’t meet in church,” he said. “I’ve let it out to a film company for the week. I don’t know what they are playing at. The film is sure to be a flop. Who on earth would go and see a film called something like Four Weddings and a Funeral?”