Like many other church assemblies around this time, the Church of England General Synod in July 2013 faces several controversial and challenging issues. As Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby recognised, both openness and boldness are needed.
As a law to allow equal marriage in England and Wales reaches committee stage in the House of Lords, those most strongly opposed are still trying to weaken or block it. Despite large majorities for the Marriage (Same Sex) Couples Bill in the Lords and earlier House of Commons, some peers have put forward amendments which would delay or undermine marriage equality.
Wages fall heavily as ordinary people pay for crisis
UK wages have fallen more than ever before in a five-year period, the Institute for Fiscal Studies has found. Those on medium and low incomes have had their living standards undermined during an economic crisis not of their making. The undermining of social security as well as workers’ rights are likely to continue to cause social and economic damage.
Church of England’s stance on marriage and sexuality still unclear
Some people may be understandably confused about the Church of England’s position on same-sex partnerships and equal marriage. Official statements, the publicly-voiced views of senior clergy and broader opinions among church members point in different directions. Part of this is to do with realism, but shifts in understanding also play a part.
Church of England bishops end resistance to equal marriage
Church of England bishops have given up trying to block equal marriage in England and Wales. Though several spoke and voted against the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill in the House of Lords, this bid was heavily defeated. Many church members, including some bishops, support marriage equality, though others are strongly opposed.
Christians divided as Lords back equal marriage Bill
The House of Lords has backed a Bill to allow same-sex couples in England and Wales to marry, by 390 votes to 148. After a long debate in which Christians argued for and against the Marriage (Same-Sex Couples) Bill, a bid by opponents to block a second reading was heavily defeated.
Carey’s scaremongering on equal marriage, polygamy and incest
Allowing same-sex as well as opposite-sex couples to marry will open the door to legalising polygamy and sibling marriage, Lord Carey claims. His alarmist views, at odds with those of many other Christians, show his lack of understanding of both the value of loving partnerships and the problems arising from polygamous and incestuous relationships.
Nicholas Holtam, the Bishop of Salisbury, has made clear his support for allowing same-sex couples to marry. Officially the Church of England is opposed to equal marriage but many members are in favour. The Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill, covering England and Wales, is to be debated by the House of Lords.