Church in Wales gives ‘gospel-inspired lead’ to C of E, says Bishop of Liverpool

Sep 10, 2021 by

by Madeleine Davies, Church Times:

THE vote to enable same-sex civil partnerships and marriages to be blessed in the Church in Wales is a “creative and gospel-inspired lead” for the Church of England, the Bishop of Liverpool, the Rt Revd Paul Bayes, said this week.

“I am heartened and encouraged by this vote and by the conversations that led up to it,” he said on Tuesday. “The Church in Wales has looked seriously at its missional context and has chosen to affirm love, in the spirit of the unchanging God of love whom we know in Jesus. I trust that my own Church will follow this creative and Gospel-inspired lead, and I hope that this will happen soon.”

Writing on the website of the Campaign for Equal Marriage in the C of E, on Monday, the Revd Dr Charlie Bell, a deacon at St John the Divine with St James the Apostle, Kennington, predicted that the Church in Wales would move to conduct same-sex marriages in church, “not least because the current position is a bit of a theological mess, albeit an understandable one . . . it is very clear what the direction of travel must be, if only from a position of theological coherence — a blessing is a blessing is a blessing.”

He observed: “For far too long (and even in this week’s debate) we have heard that accommodating those who support same-sex blessings will tear the church apart by making it inhospitable to those who hold non-affirming theological views. This has often been nothing more than an extremely thinly-veiled threat, and in rejecting this blackmail the Church in Wales has shown where the Church of England might go next year. It’s time to stop believing the lie that refusing to move one inch is a compromise.”

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Read also:  Leader Comment: Reason, not emotion, behind Welsh blessing

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