The Methodist Conference has voted to confirm provisional resolutions for conducting same sex marriages on Methodist premises or by Methodist office-holders
A report on marriage and relationships, ’God in Love Unites Us’ was received by the Conference in 2019 and the local District Synods were asked to consider the provisional resolutions and report back to this year’s conference which was held in Birmingham. The Conference received a report on the results of the local conferring which showed that 29 out of the 30 Synods confirmed support for the provisional resolutions.
A range of views were expressed on the resolutions, in particular on cohabitation and same sex marriages. The Revd Dr Jonathan Hustler, spoke to the Conference acknowledging the “depth of feeling, pain and anxiety that there is” with a commitment to work across the Connexion with District Chairs to heal divisions.
Following the vote on the provisional resolutions the Revd Sonia Hicks said: “The debate today and our wider conversation has been conducted with grace and mutual respect. As we move forward together after this historic day for our Church, we must remember to continue to hold each other in prayer, and to support each other respecting our differences.”
During a recent address to a new liberal umbrella group, MoSAIC, the Bishop of Liverpool said he wants to see “conscientious freedom for the Church’s ministers and local leaders to honour, recognise and, yes indeed, to bless same-sex unions whether civil partnerships or civil marriages”.
“Those who see no difference between attending the marriage of their gay or their straight friends or work colleagues, find the community of faith to be wanting and indeed increasingly offensive,” said Bishop Bayes who is due to retire next year.