C of E evangelical theologian identifies ‘serious problems’ with ACANZP report on same-sex church blessings

Jul 27, 2017 by

A review of the ‘Interim Report of the Motion 29 Working Group – The Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia.’

By Martin Davie, CEEC. 

What is the Motion 29 Working Group?

The Motion 29 Working group was a group of six people set up by the Anglican Church in Aotearoea, New Zealand and Polynesia (ACANZP) following the failure of its 2016 meeting of the General Synod/Te Hinota Whanui (GSTHW) to find a common view on whether it would be right to permit the blessing in church of same-sex couples who had previously entered into a civil marriage…

… As the report goes on to say, the Working Group’s mandate was neither to consider the differing theological positions on the blessing of same-sex couples, nor to look at the teaching of Scripture in relation to this issue. Instead the Group was asked to consider… what arrangements and safeguards could be put in place to hold us together within the same ecclesial family so that no one was forced to compromise sincerely held beliefs. We were asked to find structural solutions which would hold our Church together in that unity which Christ expressed, and which He has gifted to us.’ […]

[…] Why do some people like the report?

Those who like the report think it provides a viable way for those with differing convictions over the blessing of same-sex couples to remain together in the same church.

The New Zealand Anglican commentator Peter Carrell, for example, hails it as ‘a beautiful Anglican accommodation.’ He writes as follows:

My verdict: a beautiful Anglican accommodation.

It gives (many) conservatives and (many) liberals what they have asked for, and makes few demands on the middle of our church […]

[…] What are the problems with this report?

In spite of the enthusiasm of Peter Carrell and others there are seven serious problems with this report which mean that it would unwise for ACANZP to accept its recommendations or for those in the Church of England to see it as a model to imitate.


Full review can be downloaded from the CEEC website here.

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