Let's build on the radical Christian inclusion of Hereford diocese
You will by now have heard the good news coming out of Hereford diocese on Thursday evening, when their diocesan synod adopted a motion calling for authorised orders of service for couples following same-sex marriages and civil partnerships. We’re delighted by this news – and now we’re calling on our members and supporters to continue the movement towards radical Christian inclusion, by encouraging the discussion and debate of the Hereford motion in their own local parishes, deaneries and dioceses.
We believe there is real value in providing an opportunity to explore these issues, but more than this, we believe this is a chance to demonstrate the depth and breadth of support for affirming committed same-sex relationships at a grassroots level - and in turn sending a strong message to General Synod, when they debate the Hereford motion. Perhaps most importantly a successful resolution in General Synod would pave the way for couples to have their union affirmed in the context of their Christian faith, and would enable those clergy who wish to do so to offer this important pastoral and missional service to their communities.
We have been working closely with supporters in Hereford diocese and on General Synod and we’re confident we can co-ordinate a really effective campaign, learning from recent experience . We believe, for example, that it’s crucial that any further motion is worded identically to that passed in Hereford, proving as it does protection for those with opposing views, and being very clear that any authorised services would not imply a change of doctrine by the church.
If you’d like to be part of making this happen near you, then we’re holding a Campaign Day on Saturday 4 November in Sheffield which we’d love you to come along to. Originally planned as a day for our supporters along the same lines as the very successful day in Coventry in April, we’re delighted that we’ll now be joined by Rev Kay Garlick, Chair of Hereford Diocese Inclusive Church Forum, to share her experiences and learnings getting the Motion through Synod. Christina Baron, Vice-Chair of the General Synod Human Sexuality Group will also be joining us to help us make sense of some of the processes and procedures involved. The afternoon will be spent with Keith Hebden of the Urban Theology Union, looking at how we go about achieving similar change in our own context.
Full details and booking instructions can be found here. There’s no charge for members to attend, but there will be an opportunity to donate towards costs. Equally, if you need help with travel expenses, please let us know.
If you can’t be there on the day, but still want to be involved, please contact us at the office. We’ll connect you with others from your diocese, and can help with the technicalities, drawing on the experience of our supporters in Synod.