The Church of England will offer blessings to same-sex couples in civil partnerships and marriages, though they will still be unable to get married in church.
The motion was passed in all three of the Synod’s – the Church’s equivalent of a parliament – ‘houses’ following a near-eight-hour debate across 8 and 9 February.
The Archbishop of York, the Most Revd Stephen Cottrell, told the Synod that priests can still choose not to bless same-sex couples. “No-one has to offer these services and no one will be disadvantaged if they don’t,” he explained.
Bishops will now finalise the wording of the new prayers, as well as issuing updated guidance on whether or not gay clergy should remain celibate before the Synod next meets in July. READ MORE: Church of England apologises for “shameful” treatment of LGBTQ+ people The motion also included a vote to “lament and repent” the failure of the Church of England to welcome members of the LGBTQ+ community, as well as acknowledging the harm many have experienced because of this exclusion.