U.K. Religious Leaders Support Marriage for Same-Sex Couples



A number of religious leaders have signed the statement below. A press conference and photo-call will be held at Friends House, 173 Euston Road, London NW1 2BJ at 11 am on Friday 28 March 2014.

We rejoice that from tomorrow same-sex couples will be able to marry in England and Wales.

As persons of faith, we welcome this further development in our marriage law, which has evolved over the centuries in response to changes in society and in scientific knowledge.

We acknowledge that some (though not all) of the faith organisations to which we belong do not share our joy, and continue to express opposition in principle to such marriages. We look forward to the time, sooner rather than later, when all people of faith will feel able to welcome this development.

List of Signatories
* denotes Friday attendance expected

Revd Steve Chalke
Rabbi Danny Rich, Chief Executive, Liberal Judaism*
Derek McAuley, Chief Officer, General Assembly of Unitarian and Free Christian Churches*
Paul Parker, Recording Clerk for Quakers in Britain *
Rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner, Senior Rabbi to the Movement for Reform Judaism*
Revd Sharon Ferguson, Senior Pastor, MCC North London*

Rt Revd Alan Wilson, Bishop of Buckingham*
Rt Revd Lord Harries of Pentregarth, former Bishop of Oxford
Rt Revd Richard Lewis, former Bishop of St Edmundsbury & Ipswich*
Rt Revd Peter Selby, former Bishop of Worcester
Rt Revd John Saxbee, former Bishop of Lincoln
Rt Revd Michael Doe, Preacher to Gray’s Inn, former Bishop of Swindon*
Rt Revd David Gillett, former Bishop of Bolton
Rt Revd Stephen Lowe, former Bishop of Hulme
Very Revd Jeffrey John, Dean of St Albans
Very Revd Jonathan Draper, Dean of Exeter
Very Revd Mark Bonney, Dean of Ely
Very Revd Lister Tonge, Dean of Monmouth
Very Revd Mark Beach, Dean of Rochester


1. The Cutting Edge Consortium is an alliance of faith-based LGBTI-supporting organisations, trade unions, and others united in challenging faith-based groups to promote equality and human rights.
More information at https://sites.google.com/site/cuttingedgeconsortium1/about-us

2. The LGBTI Anglican Coalition provides UK-based Christian LGBTI organisations with opportunities to create resources for the Anglican community and to develop a shared voice for the full acceptance of LGBTI people.
More information at

3. If you are planning to attend the press conference on Friday it would be helpful to let Anne van Staveren at Friends House know. Annev@quaker.org.uk.

4. For press queries please contact any of the following:

Simon Sarmiento 07906 445695 ss@justus.anglican.org

Maria Exall 07714 206404

Colin Coward 07770 844302

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Friday, 28 March 2014 


It is good to see a few former Anglican diocesan bishops listed among the Signatories of this important Statement by Religious Leaders in the U.K., who positively affirm the Same-Sex Marriage legislation that is now a reality in England and Wales. The fact that there are  only  2 currently serving Bishops of the Church of England – +Alan Wilson, Bishop of Buckingham and +Michael Doe, former Bishop of Swindon – on this list, reflects the difficulties serving Bishops have in speaking out against the current conservative polity of the House of Bishops of the Church of England.

However, notable among the 5 Cathedral Deans who are also signatories is a person who, but for the action of the former Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams, in rescinding his appointment as Bishop of Reading, might now have been among the serving Bishops of the C.of E.

The Very Revd. Jeffrey John, now  Dean of St. Albans, was the first-known cleric in the Church of England to have been  elected, and then turned down, for the office of a Bishop – on account of his openness about his intrinsic homosexuality. Despite his eminent suitably for preferment in all other aspects of the qualifications normally required of a candidate for the episcopal office, Dean Jeffrey John has been overlooked for all other subsequent opportunities for episcopal preferment. 

One can hope that this meeting of the ‘Cutting Edge Consortium’ of religious leaders in the U.K. will have some effect upon the perceived ethos of homophobia still continuing in the mainline Christian Churches of the U.K.

Father Ron Smith, Christchurch, New Zealand

About kiwianglo

Retired Anglican priest, living in Christchurch, New Zealand. Ardent supporter of LGBT Community, and blogger on 'Thinking Anglicans UK' site. Theology: liberal, Anglo-Catholic & traditional. regarding each person as a unique expression of Christ, and therefore lovable.
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