Clergy to sign open letter to allow LGBT unions
When the Church of England proclaimed that they would not allow gay people to be ordained and would make gay pastors step down, it may not have foreseen the fact that gay pastors would one day rise up to fight for their rights to serve in church. This decision by the Anglican Church's leaders, Archbishops of Canterbury and York, Justin Welby and John Sentamu came after England's new legislation on gay rights in 2014. Following this new decision was the removal of Canon Jeremy Pemberton in 2014.
Now, around a dozen ministers of the Church of England have come together, revealing that they are gay and are in gay relationships. They have decided to oppose the Church's decision by signing a petition to the Church leaders. The signatories will include Andrew Foreshew-Cain, the vicar of North London. The priest was one of the first to defy the ordinances of the Church when he married his partner Stephen in 2014. However, he was not removed from his post as Pemberton was.
The reverend said that gay marriages are perfectly legal and are accepted by their parishioners. As it is a lifelong commitment that they are getting into, it is just as holy as any other marriages. He gave a call to the Church to stop looking at gay marriages as something that is dirty and unholy and to accept them just as they accept other marriages.
— Elaine Scrivens (@RevLainey) August 22, 2016
The reverend also hopes that the Church of England would allow parishes to celebrate gay marriages, especially since the people are receptive of them. He urged the Church to acknowledge “the new reality of how Christians think.” He says that there a number of communities and parishes that want to celebrate gay marriages, and the Church should allow them to do so.
Spokesperson for the Church, Steve Jenkins has revealed that for the past two years a process called “shared conversations” have been happening in the Church. These meetings are a forum where deep issues are discussed and reviewed. Jenkins said that during these meetings have revealed some deep convictions and that profound differences have been understood better. The letter that is to be sent urges the bishops who will be attending these meetings to press for at least the blessing of gay couples in “special services,” even if not in a regular fashion. Reverend Foreshew-Cain said that it may be too soon to force the church into accepting a full-fledged gay marriage, but insisted that it can at least take a bold step towards doing so.