Debating the Church and same-sex marriage

Sep 8, 2021 by

by Ian Paul, Psephizo:

On Friday 3rd September, at 2.10 pm, I had a phone call from a number I did not recognise. When I answered, it turned out to be from a BBC researcher asking if I would appear on BBC1 on Sunday morning for a debate about the Church of England and same-sex marriage, in the light of the coming vote taking place in the Church in Wales. I have been preaching in different churches, covering for vacancies, but it just happened that this Sunday I did not have a commitment. As I have said elsewhere, when someone makes a media request like this, the first thing to say is ‘Yes’; two days’ notice is fairly standard for this sort of thing, even though it was on national television.

You can watch the discussion on BBC iPlayer here, starting at 25 minutes in, but I have also captured it and put it on my YouTube channel and embedded it below. I offer a few reflections on the discussion.

Andrew Foreshew-Cain made a short opening comment, arguing that this was about ‘welcome’ and about ‘strengthening marriage’. In debate, these two ideas are easy to address, and I picked up immediately on the fact that this wasn’t about strengthening marriage so much as completely redefining it. And, of course, ‘welcome’ does not automatically include shaping what we do to fit the claims and assumptions made by those we seek to welcome.

When I was invited to speak, I began by enumerating the points I wanted to make. I have learnt that this makes it harder for a presenter to cut me off before I have made all the comments that I plan to!

Read and watch video here

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