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Parish of St Mary's in East Barnet to make stand against Church of England leaders on same-sex blessings
An East Barnet vicar says his parish is preparing to challenge Church of England leaders after they reiterated their ban on blessing same-sex couples.
The House of Bishops, which governs practice in Anglican churches across England, earlier this month rejected recommendations that it lifts its ban on blessing gay couples.
But the parish of St Mary’s Church in East Barnet says it plans to lodge a protest against the decision and write a formal letter once its members have met later this month.
The parish is a supporting member of Inclusive Church, an organisation campaigning for the acceptance of minorities including lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender couples and individuals.
Same-sex marriages are currently banned inside the Church of England, which is governed by its own historic laws, but some believe it should go some way towards lessening its discrimination by allowing the blessing of gay couples in churches.
Members of the St Mary’s Church council now plan to meet and formulate a statement in response to the House of Bishop’s latest refusal to be moved on the subject.
Church rector James Mustard said he expects his parish to release the statement in the coming weeks and says it is an important subject for the image and ministry of his church in the area.
He said: “The feeling is that this ongoing prohibition on blessing same-sex couples is harmful to our relationship with the community, whether they come to the church or not.
“I think it is important that churches in favour of supporting same-sex couples with blessings should speak out, and we’re preparing to issue a statement opposing the House of Bishops’ decision.”
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