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The Dean of York, the Very Revd Dominic Barrington, today welcomed proposals by the Bishops of the Church of England that will allow same-sex couples in a committed civil marriage or partnership, to be able to come to church for a service of prayers of thanksgiving, blessing and dedication for the first time.
Dominic also welcomed the decision of the bishops to issue an apology to the LGBTQI+ community for the “rejection, exclusion and hostility” they have faced in churches and the impact this has had on their lives. Both steps are key outcomes of Living in Love and Faith, the Church of England’s biggest ever listening exercise on questions of sexuality, gender, relationships and marriage carried out over the last six years.
Dean Dominic said: “The bishops’ recommendations are a key moment for the Church. They signify forward movement, acceptance and repentance for past hurt and pain and they also reflect the complexity and diversity of views in the Church on questions of sexuality, relationships and marriage. It is my hope that Synod will be happy to receive these recommendations and will encourage the bishops to enable the church to continue to journey forwards towards an ever greater welcome and inclusion of all of God’s children.
“I acknowledge that not everyone will be happy. Some will feel that the Church has gone too far – others that the Church has not gone far enough. There is plenty of room for the conversations to continue. It is my hope that these recommendations will be received in a spirit of generosity. I also pray that church communities everywhere will welcome same-sex couples unreservedly and joyfully and make their place of worship a safe and welcoming space. This is always the mission and ministry of York Minster.”
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