On 4 June 2013, many pilgrims, as well as clergy and guests from all corners of the world, filled the rather limited but wondrous space of St James’s Cathedral in order to attend the enthronement of the 97th Armenian Patriarch of Jerusalem.
The Iona Community is a dispersed Christian ecumenical community working simultaneously for peace and social justice, the rebuilding of human bonds of collaboration locally and globally, and the renewal of worship. This past weekend it has been celebrating its 75th anniversary.
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.
All three main UK political parties now base their economic arguments on a premise which has come to be accepted as truth, but which may be false. The premise is that ‘there is no money left’ and this is used to justify austerity. We don’t want to cut, the argument goes, but there is no money left, so we have to make difficult decisions.
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.
The 'War on Welfare' e-government petition, which has amassed over 40,000 signatories, but needs 100,000 to be able to seek a parliamentary debate, is organising a 'tweetathon' on Thursday 6th June to add to the momentum of the campaign.
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.