In the next couple of weeks I will have the real joy and privilege of sitting down with a couple of young women who are planning their marriage later this year. The excitement is palpable, and I am very happy to be involved in putting together a service of blessing for them on the milestone occasion of their wedding.
I am a Reader, licensed to a team of 6 churches, and for me, there is a real sense of pain and embarrassment as I am not in a position to plan the celebration in their village church. They are both well integrated into the small village community, and train a local footie team; yet on the day when they are planning a service to recognise their commitment and love for each other, in the presence of God, family and friends the church will remain locked.
I long for the day when all the love and energy of such an occasion will find a place and outlet in the parish church. The community will come together and celebrate, God will be very present at the heart of the celebrations, and the strains of laughter and dancing will only be heard through the heavy closed door of the church.
This is all so wrong.
It is for such injustices that I have been working as a trustee of CA since 2007, and why I am happy to take up the role of coordinator when Colin retires in July.
Jeremy Timm ‘Changing Attitude’
Coordinator (to be!)
This article, by the next Coordinator of the U.K. Anglican ‘Changing Attitude’ Group, speaks of the frustration being experienced by many in the Church who believe that God would not withhold a blessing from a same-sex couple who want to publicly express their faithful monogamous relationship amongst their friends in a Church building – rather than in a secular venue.
In a Church which is even at this time promoting a ‘Conversation’ amongst people on both sides of this issue – of Same-Sex Blessings & Marriage – there is a sense of having moved too little and too late on a matter that has been settled in society by the provision of legal marriage for same-sex couples.
Whether the Church likes it or not, same-sex marriage is now a civic reality. What the Church will do to accommodate people who are in this situation – of being legally married in the community – will be of intense interest, not only to the people concerned, but to their families and friends who have already accepted them.
Father Ron Smith, Christchurch, New Zealand