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CHURCH OF ENGLAND: Hull Minster Holds Service for LGBT

CHURCH OF ENGLAND: Hull Minster Holds Service for LGBT

July 24, 2017

A "Service of Welcome" was held recently at Hull Minster for members of the LGBT Christian Fellowship in Hull and East Riding.

This service is open to everyone, regardless of age, background, ethnicity, gender or sexual orientation (as are all our worship services and events at Hull Minster). Hull Minster were approached by LGBT Christian Fellowship Hull and East Riding Group to see if we could provide a service in the church, and we have worked with them, under the guidance of Archbishop Sentamu and with the vote of our PCC, to provide this Service of Welcome, which will be an Anglican Service of the Word.

The guest speaker will be Rev Rachel Mann, Resident Poet at Manchester Cathedral. We acknowledge that there are a range of views on human sexuality within and outside of the church, and in providing this service we seek to provide a welcome to all rather than a particular stance, whilst operating within the current position of the Church of England and the authorised forms of liturgy and worship.

We have taken our cue from the statements of Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby and Archbishop of York John Sentamu, written after the Report from the House of Bishops at General Synod February 2017 was not 'taken note of'. The report noted that the current teaching of the Church of England on marriage and sexual ethics remains the same and that the consensus of the Bishops was that this should remain unchanged, and that 'a fresh tone and culture of welcome and support' towards LGBT people was needed. While this report was not 'taken note of', the position of the Church of England meanwhile remains the same, with the Archbishops encouraging a ' a radical new Christian inclusion in the Church', based on the truth that all people are created in the image of God. Included below are relevant excerpts from the Archbishops' Statements and Bishops' Report from February 2017. Reverend Canon Dr Neal Barnes, Vicar of Hull Minster, says: "All are welcome to worship at Hull Minster and this service reflects that. It will be very informal, inclusive and full of joy. We hope many people will come and experience it in this wonderful setting.

At Hull Minster we welcome all people to 'Worship, Enjoy, Explore and Belong' with us. All are welcome at our worship services, events and community life. We hope this Service of Welcome will be a positive occasion of inclusion, worship and prayer. 1 'The Church of England affirms, according to our Lord's teaching, that marriage is in its nature a union permanent and lifelong, for better for worse, till death them do part, of one man with one woman, to the exclusion of all others on either side, for the procreation and nurture of children, for the hallowing and right direction of the natural instincts and affections, and for the mutual society, help and comfort which the one ought to have of the other, both in prosperity and adversity' (Canon B 30.1). Statement from the Archbishop of Canterbury following today's General Synod Wednesday 15th February 2017 Statement from Archbishop Justin Welby following the General Synod's vote "not to take note" of a Report by the House of Bishops on the report earlier today on Marriage and Same-Sex Relationships. "No person is a problem, or an issue. People are made in the image of God. All of us, without exception, are loved and called in Christ. There are no 'problems', there are simply people. How we deal with the real and profound disagreement - put so passionately and so clearly by many at the Church of England's General Synod debate on marriage and same-sex relationships today - is the challenge we face as people who all belong to Christ. To deal with that disagreement, to find ways forward, we need a radical new Christian inclusion in the Church. This must be founded in scripture, in reason, in tradition, in theology; it must be based on good, healthy, flourishing relationships, and in a proper 21st century understanding of being human and of being sexual. We need to work together - not just the bishops but the whole Church, not excluding anyone - to move forward with confidence. The vote today is not the end of the story, nor was it intended to be. As bishops we will think again and go on thinking, and we will seek to do better. We could hardly fail to do so in the light of what was said this afternoon. The way forward needs to be about love, joy and celebration of our humanity; of our creation in the image of God, of our belonging to Christ - all of us, without exception, without exclusion."

GENERAL SYNOD Marriage and Same Sex Relationships after the Shared Conversations A Report from the House of Bishops - Excerpts Presented to General Synod February 2017 'The bishops of the Church of England have spent some months in further conversations on the issue which is the subject of this report. We want to begin by reaffirming the key Christian understanding that all human beings are made in the image of God. This report is offered from the wellsprings of prayer, careful thought, and, mindful of our calling as bishops, listening, both to the Christian faith as we have received it, and to our Shared Conversations. We affirm the integrity and value of each person affected by what we say here. We recognise our deficiencies and offer this paper with humility.' Paragraph 18: 'Two aspects of the emerging consensus are particularly important. First, there was little support for changing the Church of England's teaching on marriage, as expressed in Canon B.30.3*

Second, there was a strong sense that existing resources, guidance and tone needed to be revisited.' * 'The Church of England affirms, according to our Lord's teaching, that marriage is in its nature a union permanent and lifelong, for better for worse, till death them do part, of one man with one woman, to the exclusion of all others on either side, for the procreation and nurture of children, for the hallowing and right direction of the natural instincts and affections, and for the mutual society, help and comfort which the one ought to have of the other, both in prosperity and adversity' (Canon B 30.1). Paragraph 23. In practical terms this would mean: (a) establishing across the Church of England a fresh tone and culture of welcome and support for lesbian and gay people, for those who experience same sex attraction, and for their families, and continuing to work toward mutual love and understanding on these issues across the Church; (b) the preferred option should be backed up by a substantial new Teaching Document on marriage and relationships, replacing (or expanding upon) the 6House's teaching document of 1999 on marriage and the 1991 document Issues; (c) there should be guidance for clergy about appropriate pastoral provision for same sex couples; and (d) there should be new guidance from the House about the nature of questions put to ordinands and clergy about their lifestyle. Paragraph 39.

Currently, according to the law of the land, clergy may not legally solemnise the marriage of two persons of the same sex, and civil partnerships may not be registered in Church of England places of worship.

There is no proposal to change this. Clergy may pray informally with same sex couples, including following a civil partnership, but now the question arises of offering guidance to help them shape those prayers.'

END

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