Conference on The Theology of Marriage (LGBTI Anglican Coalition) – London

“To Have and To Hold” – the theology of marriage

The LGBTI Anglican Coalition is hosting a one-day conference on the theology of marriage in the light of equal marriage, at St John’s Church, Waterloo Road, London SE1 8TY on Saturday 27th September, 2014, from 10 a.m. to 4.30 p.m.

Download the flyer, with booking details, here or go directly to Eventbrite.

Recognising current unease in the Church of England over same-sex marriage, the conference will ask whether there is a theological basis for expanding the definition of marriage. If so, what might a theology of equal marriage include?

The conference is intended to help the discussion around inclusive marriage. Leading contemporary thinkers and theologians will present their understanding of the history and current understanding of the theology of marriage.

Keynote speakers Adrian Thatcher and Charlotte Methuen will ask whether it’s legitimate to include same-sex relationships in the definition of marriage, and, if so, how that might affect the church’s attitude and practice? Workshops will look at specific questions – for instance, the Bishop of Buckingham and Revd. Rosie Harper will ask how patriarchy has affected our understanding of marriage, and Scott Peterson will consider how the church is affected by the new law permitting same-sex marriage.

The conference is intended for all who are interested in this debate – bishops, theological educators, laity and clergy.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Thursday, 26 June 2014 at 9:28pm BST


I am grateful to ‘Thinking Anglicans’ for this notification of the Debate on The Theology of Marriage, to take place at Saint John’s Anglican Church, Waterloo Road, London S.E.1, on Saturday, 27th September 2014.

The event will be hosted by the LGBTI/Anglican Coalition, inviting all interested persons – epsecially Theological Educators and Bishops of the Church of England. I wonder if our Church (ACANZP) would consider inviting Dr. Peter Carrell, our Christchurch Diocesan Education Officer – and others of ACANZP – to attend on our behalf? If Peter is reading this, I would suggest he put a proposition to St. John’s College, to see if they would enable him and at least one of the Staff of the College to attend the Conference. I’m sure our Church would benefit greatly from their participation.

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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2 Responses to Conference on The Theology of Marriage (LGBTI Anglican Coalition) – London

  1. Michael Primrose says:

    Hi Fr. Ron,

    If I was in London on the day and happened to be in the neighbourhood of Saint John’s Anglican Church, I would be sure to attend the Conference, since I am certain it would be both interesting and enlightening. A couple of stimulating keynote addresses, some challenging workshops, the chance to indulge in informal clerical and lay networking and lunch thrown in as well, and all for the princely sum of £25 (£10 concessions).

    However, since I won’t be in the neighbourhood, it does seem almost frivolous, to fly half way round the world, just to partake in six and half hours of discussion. One would have to assume that the lunch was really good!

    Far be it for me to deprive Dr Peter Carrell of a trip to London. However, could I make some suggestions, which might save the diocese some money, help reduce the carbon pollution of overseas travel, and perhaps disseminate the ideas to a much wider audience?

    The theology of same-gender marriage is obviously going to be widely discussed, at fora around the world-wide Anglican community, at different times and at disparate places over the next few years. Although I am sure that all the discussions will be equally stimulating, there is the chance that the same theological wheels will be reinvent a number of times. It must be somewhat disappointing to travel to some exotic locality only to hear the same points made yet again. Clergy also have too many demands on their time, and too few resources, to be flitting from Conference to Conference, sampling ideas, like some bumblebee of business.

    Could we apply the benefits of the Internet, and the social media, to the challenge and thus help to propagate the insights more widely. Theology House has published a number of papers from its recent conference on Tough Questions Today: Exploring Theology of Marriage, which have allowed a much wider audience, than could possibly attend the Conference, to consider the words of number of distinguished thinkers.

    Whilst these papers are useful tools, with which to examine this ongoing question, their effectiveness could have been improved in a couple of ways. If a recording of the paper delivered was made, and subsequently published on the Internet as a podcast, then those of us, who are considering the words, could also hear the emphasis put on particular phrases and words by the speaker. This would thus enable us to hear the spirit move within a speech, rather than just allowing us to provide our own interpretation.

    It is also extremely difficult to provide an accurate transcript of the discussion, or debate following a particular paper, which is the reason why they are rarely published. However, it is possible to record the contribution of those attending the Conference, and publish them, via the Internet, as a podcast. It might also be possible to provide a webcast of the Conference and/or publish the video, or to allow for a video conference via Skype, for instance.

    News of such a Conference, and the Web location of the papers and podcasts, could be subsequently published on sites such as Kiwianglo. This would allow the readers of the website, who may not have been able to physically attend the Conference, to both read and hear what was said.

    Using the straw of the ideas presented, we can then construct our own bricks of argument and thus the discussion advances. If we are continually saying the same things in conferences, then we will progress no further towards providing either an answer to the question, or to forming a consensus of opinion. We will be continually making the same bricks, but never actually constructing an edifice of coherent thought.

    The Internet provides us with the ability to exchange ideas, thoughts, insights and revelations quickly, unrestrained by both the tyranny of time and of distance, so perhaps we should be taking advantage of its power. It may be worthwhile discussing this concept with various groups internationally to see how this could be brought to useful fruition.

    The ideas expressed at these conferences aren’t just relevant at a parochial level, but have an international application. We should be doing all we can break down the barriers between the words and facilitating the spread of insights.

    Michael Primrose, Christchurch

    • kiwianglo says:

      Hello, Michael. Have had a few computer problems lately, so have been unable to intercept your message. However, I am completely in agreement with you on the subject of making available conference papers from relevant sources. I’m hoping that, near the time of the English Conference, something may be able to be done about releasing the material for wider use. Agape, Fr. Ron

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