Church of England synod moves forward with a test of prayers for same-sex couples

by | Nov 15, 2023 | Religion

LONDON (RNS) — The Church of England will test-run stand-alone services for blessing same-sex couples after its ruling body, the General Synod, voted to move ahead with implementing special prayers of thanks and dedication for gay couples. The vote to go ahead with the pilot program followed hours of emotionally charged debate about the church’s pastoral responsibilities toward gay people.The synod’s vote on Wednesday (Nov. 15) follows the House of Bishops’ agreement last month to commend “Prayers of Love and Faith,” a collection of prayers and readings for same-sex couples, for use in existing church services. The bishops also approved the prayers as the basis for stand-alone services.
Two days of debate began with synod members — bishops, clergy and lay representatives — considering a motion put forward by the bishop of London, the Rt. Rev. Dame Sarah Mullally, the third most senior bishop in the Church of England, in which she highlighted the uncertainty and tensions in the church over the issue and especially over the content of prayers for same-sex blessings.
Thirteen amendments were offered to her motion, from those who wanted to recognize further the distress the is …

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