Pastoral Letter from Archbishop Melissa Skelton
On Wednesday July 17th Archbishop Melissa Skelton released this letter (see link below) outlining how the Diocese of New Westminster will move forward with same-sex marriage.
As of August 1 the Archbishop will authorize a liturgy for the marriage of same sex couples within the Diocese of New Westminster. The archbishop has laid out three requirements that must be met in order for same sex marriages to be celebrated in parishes. The first two conditions will be temporary and will be removed once the entire community has become familiar with this change.
The three requirements for parishes to celebrate same sex weddings are:
The parish council must agree to, and embrace the decision to celebrate same sex weddings.
Any priest who wants to officiate a same sex wedding must make a request to the archbishop to use that liturgy and work with the archbishop in preparing the liturgy. This requirement is in place so that all clergy involved can gain experience in working with this new liturgy and preparing same sex couples for marriage.
Any same sex couple that wishes to be married must satisfy all the typical requirements for marriage in the Anglican church. (At least one of the couple must be a baptised Anglican, they must undertake proper preparation for marriage, and the marriage must take place in a church or a public place).
I welcome this decision by our Archbishop. I will call a meeting of parish council shortly to vote on this matter.
Yours in Christ