Home   Bury St Edmunds   News   Article

Subscribe Now

St Edmundsbury Cathedral in Bury St Edmunds to offer blessings to same-sex couples after civil marriage or partnership for the first time





A cathedral in Bury St Edmunds has joined church of England churches across the UK to offer blessings to same-sex couples after their civil marriage or partnership for the first time.

The Dean and Chapter of St Edmundsbury Cathedral welcomed the statement made by the Rt Rev Martin Seeley, Bishop of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich and the Rt Rev Dr Mike Harrison, the Bishop of Dunwich concerning the Living in Love and Faith process, a six-year process of listening, learning and discernment on questions of identity, sexuality, relationships and marriage.

Bishop Martin said: “We are grateful that the bishops of the Church of England have agreed to make a public apology for the way members of the LGBTQI+ community have at times been treated by the Church.”

St Edmundsbury Cathedral in Bury St Edmunds will join church of England Churches across the UK to offer same-sex couples a blessing following a civil marriage or partnership
St Edmundsbury Cathedral in Bury St Edmunds will join church of England Churches across the UK to offer same-sex couples a blessing following a civil marriage or partnership

The bishops added: “While we welcome these developments, which are important, both Mike and I are disappointed that they do not go further. Through this process we have both reached the view that the faithful, pastoral, loving and just way forward is to extend Holy Matrimony to same-sex couples.

“We recognise that many of you agree with us, while many of you would not be able to support such a change and many remain uncertain. This reflects the situation amongst the bishops where there is deep disagreement held in tension with a commitment to moving forward together."

In a statement St Edmundsbury Cathedral said: "We join with our bishops to express our full support for the Church of England to adopt same sex marriage for clergy and laity; believing this to be the faithful, pastoral and just way forward.

"We regret the option of same sex marriage will not be presented to General Synod at its meeting in London in February but recognise that we are on a journey as a Church and, consensus does not exist in the Church of England at this time."

The cathedral has said it will make full use of the services commended by the House of Bishops to bless same-sex couples in church following a civil marriage or partnership.

The statement added: "We repent and reject the many ways in which LGBTQI+ people have been and continue to be excluded, abused, and harmed by the church. We are determined that our cathedral will continue to be a place of warmth, safety and welcome for all."