Search

Bishops’ letter over government’s gay marriage consultation

15:45 27 April 2012

Bishop of Norwich, the Rt Rev Graham James, during a rededication of St Andrews church, Lowestoft.

Bishop of Norwich, the Rt Rev Graham James, during a rededication of St Andrews church, Lowestoft.

Archant © 2011

Three Anglican bishops have written to their congregations about their views on the issue of gay marriage.

The letter was sent from the Rt Rev Graham James, Bishop of Norwich, the Rt Rev Alan Winton, Bishop of Thetford, and the Rt Rev Jonathan Meyrick, Bishop of Lynn.

It was written on behalf of the Diocese of Norwich to its clergy on Thursday.

The government launched its 12-week consultation on allowing gay couples in England and Wales to marry in a register office or other civil ceremony last month. It will close on June 14.

Part of the letter from the bishops said: “The consultation document says very little about marriage itself and does not seek to define it.

“Nevertheless, it does speak of civil marriage and religious marriage as if these are two entirely separate concepts.”

It went on to say that “an unhealthy and damaging division” between civil and religious marriages could be created because of the Church of England’s lack of provision to marry same sex couples.

On Monday, the EDP reported that the Dean of Norwich had urged the Church of England not block its ears and close its eyes over the government’s proposal.

The Very Rev Graham Smith was among clergy who signed a letter in a national newspaper on Saturday which said the Church should “rejoice” at the prospect of gay marriage.

The bishops’ letter added: “We believe this consultation is too narrowly focused and too predetermined to animate the sort of public debate about the nature of marriage which our society needs.”

But it said there seemed to be a good deal of confusion surrounding marriage itself.

The bishops believed it was important to avoid “ill-considered reactions” to the government’s proposals.

“It is surely to the benefit of the whole of our society if gay people live in faithful, stable and publicly recognised relationships. Indeed, some gay relationships are a model of faithfulness compared with the serial monogamy so prevalent among hetrosexual people,” the letter said.

To view the full letter from the three bishops visit www.edp24.co.uk

The government’s consultation document can be viewed by visiting www.homeoffice.gov.uk/equal-civil-marriage

Related articles

4 comments

  • Civil partnership and marriage are not the same and I personally do not agree with the notion of same gender couples being allowed to marry. Marriage is meant for the intention of procreation. Biologically, this is not possibly in same gender couples, any more than men wishing to give birth. If we are to advance this argument, then we may as well abolish the "mothers" and "fathers" and replace with a generic "parents" label. Likewise, who is an aunt, but would prefer to be called uncle and vice versa?

    Report this comment

    Musto_Fan

    Friday, April 27, 2012

  • i agree Elton John has always made me feel ill as well--before during and after his 2 marriages.

    Report this comment

    bookworm

    Sunday, April 29, 2012

  • Heterosexual couples should be allowed to marry even if they do not or cannot have children. Biologically, the only way to procreate involves a man and a woman. Marriage has a unique definition and this should rightly remain as it is now - for a man and woman whose biological organs are intended for procreation, even if they can't have children, which is a separate issue from the obvious point as to why homosexuals can't procreate with each other. Besides, homosexual couples have civil partnership, something not available to heterosexual couples. Of course, any couple should be allowed to take up with whoever they live. I have no interest in what *anyone* does in bed and with whom. However, I do not agree with homosexual people marrying, when they have civil partnership any more than I wish for females to stand next to males to urinate in a public lavatory.

    Report this comment

    Musto_Fan

    Tuesday, May 1, 2012

  • So Musto_Fan, does that mean that couples that cannot or choose not to procreate should not be allowed to marry either? It is biologically not possible for a huge number of couples to have children regardless of their gender but I don't see that it has anything to do with marriage. What is you reasoning behind aboloshing "father" and "mother"? Surely a child with two male parents would have 2 fathers - many, many people bring up their children alone for whatever reason and as such, their children may only have a mother OR a father and not both. To me, mariage is about love, commitment and wanting to celebrate this. I don't see how anybody's gender has anything to do with it.

    Report this comment

    Linds

    Monday, April 30, 2012

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

Other news

Anglia in Bloom Judges arrive in Halesworth to judge the Towns entry.  Anntte Dunning and Tamsyn Imison with Anglia in Bloom Judges Brian Thornton and Bill Boardman.

Organisers behind the Halesworth in Bloom event are gearing up once again this year with the hope of making it third time lucky.

Beccles Rose May Fete 2014 at Ringsfield Village Hall.

Picture: James Bass

The third Rose May fete will be held next month - with organisers promising it will be better than ever.

Yesterday, 09:37
The James Paget Hospital in Gorleston. Picture: Angela Sharpe

A multi-million pound building project at Gorleston’s James Paget Hospital is back on track after it was knocked off course by a lightning strike.

Yesterday, 07:00
Ancient handles from the wooden entrance to the grounds of St Edmund's Catholic church, Bungay have been stolen. Rt Rev Charles Fitzgerald-Lombard by the wooden door.

When precious Victorian items were stolen by thieves from Bungay’s St Edmund’s Catholic Church the congregation reasonably enough feared they had gone forever.

Most Read

Fri, 16:28
Emergency services have been called to a two-vehicle collision on the A146 near Loddon.

A motorcyclist has been taken to hospital following a two-vehicle collision on the A146 at Hales, near Loddon,

Read more
Norwich
Thu, 17:07
Earsham Football Club first team with Dale Clarke far right

Tributes have been paid to Earsham Football Club’s first team manager Dale Clarke.

Read more
Yesterday, 07:00
Ancient handles from the wooden entrance to the grounds of St Edmund's Catholic church, Bungay have been stolen. Rt Rev Charles Fitzgerald-Lombard by the wooden door.

When precious Victorian items were stolen by thieves from Bungay’s St Edmund’s Catholic Church the congregation reasonably enough feared they had gone forever.

Read more
Bungay
Yesterday, 06:35
Renovation work has started on the former Halesworth social club building.

A restoration project to return an historic Halesworth building back to its former glory has uncovered a wealth of surprises.

Read more
Waveney District Council
Wednesday, April 1, 2015
On The Move: The Tobar giant backwards clock on its way to a new home.

Time has finally moved on for a giant backwards clock which is being brought back to life at a new home in Diss.

Read more

Local Weather

Rain

Rain

max temp: 15°C

min temp: 7°C

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Beccles and Bungay Journal e-edition today E-edition