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Same sex relationships and Civil Partnerships

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Our clergy will offer support and guidance to all who wish to live in loving, faithful, committed relationships, whatever their gender.

Same sex couples will receive a warm welcome and affirmation at York Minster. In most cases we would expect approaches from worshipping members of the congregation, members of the Community Roll or Minster employees.

At present we are not permitted by law to marry people of the same sex and the House of Bishops of the Church of England has declined to authorise a service of blessing for a Civil Partnership. The bishops’ statement says, ‘Where clergy are approached by people asking for prayer in relation to entering into a civil partnership they should respond pastorally and sensitively in the light of the circumstances of each case’ (para 18). The Chapter of York abides by the pastoral statement of the bishops as a matter of policy.

After a conversation with one of the Chapter clergy, couples entering a Civil Partnership are welcome to attend any service at the Minster, with friends and family, to hear the scriptures, pray, and, where appropriate, receive Communion. Normally this would occur as near as possible to the civil registration of the Partnership.

The Minster’s clergy will support the intention of the Church of England to continue to explore how we can best develop our ministry to same sex couples.

For more information, please contact Revd Canon Michael Smith at e: michaels@yorkminster.org

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