The Scottish Episcopal Church has taken a major step towards letting same-sex couples marry in church. However the process of change will take at least two years. If and when final approval is given, priests will be allowed – but not required – to celebrate weddings between same-sex partners.
Many Christians regard their wedding day as one of the most joyful, and spiritually significant, in their lives. Those preparing to celebrate marriage are part of the body of the church, whose other members may wish to rejoice with and support them as they make a costly, as well as fulfilling, commitment.
The rejection of the Anglican Covenant by the Scottish Episcopal Church is another serious body blow for a measure which proponents say is about proper ecclesiastical order, but which detractors argue will impose narrow conformity on a denomination historically based on self-governance within its provinces. Simon Barrow looks to the background, history and significance of the latest manoeuvres.
The Scottish Episcopal Church, part of the worldwide Anglican Communion, is set to join talks involving the Church of Scotland (Presbyterian) and the Church of England as they seek greater and more effective links.
A new partnership statement has been agreed by the Scottish Episcopal Church (Anglican), the Methodist Church and the United Reformed Church in Scotland. It was was sealed by leaders of the churches at a service in St Ninian’s Cathedral, Perth.