Comments: Methodist Church moves forward on same-sex marriage

Do we know whether there will be any interaction between the Methodist and Anglican conversation processes?

Posted by Dan BD at Thursday, 3 July 2014 at 10:52am BST

Who would have thought that the Methodists in Britain would beat the Church of England to the post, on this important issue of their Church's recognition of Same-Sex Partnerships - both Civil Marriage and Civil Partnerships.

I think John Wesley might have smiled at this move on the part of his 'movement of the Spirit' Church, that first moved away from the strait-jacketed legalistic Church of England of his day. He did not in fact leave of his own volition, he was quietly set aside by the powers-that-were.

Perhaps this opening up on a much-needed justice front could presage further talk of reconciliation with the Church of England. After all, the Wesleys wrote some very good hymns about the Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist.

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Thursday, 3 July 2014 at 11:12am BST

Why is it, English Methodists are usually twenty years ahead of Church of England Anglicans? Is it because they no longer have a large evangelical constituency and are in membership freefall?

Posted by robert ian Williams at Thursday, 3 July 2014 at 1:47pm BST

More evidence that the Universal Church is not, after all, set in its homophobia--and that the Church of England needs to get off the fence.

"The Conference resolved that its previous ruling that there was no reason per se to prevent anyone within the Church, ordained or lay, from entering into or remaining within a civil partnership, should also extend to those entering into legally contracted same-sex marriages."

Bravo, Methodists! Let us hope that the Church of England will be so good as to follow your lead.

Posted by Jeremy at Thursday, 3 July 2014 at 2:56pm BST

It's odd how radical Methodist Leaders are often light years ahead of their seemingly aged and conservative members - whilst Church of England bishops are light years behind their liberal and long-suffering congregations who wish they'd catch up.

Posted by FrDavidH at Thursday, 3 July 2014 at 6:27pm BST

I love the idea of an 'Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Committee!' I want one!
A somewhat ungenerous response from RIW. The Methodists may be 'twenty years' ahead of the CofE, but they are light years ahead of the Roman Catholic church. Like the Roman Catholic church had anything to shout about.
When the HofB issued their -er - Pastoral Statement, they used bold type quite deliberately to threaten and bully their clergy. The Mehodists use it to affirm their support for those, ordained or lay, who wish to enter into same-sex marriage.
They want to talk about these matters: 'honestly, prayerfully and graciously.'
It's all a matter of tone!

Posted by Stephen Morgan at Thursday, 3 July 2014 at 7:16pm BST

Not sure about the 'leaders' bit; Conference is about 69% lay! and drawn from across the Connexion. There's often no great competition to get to Conference, and definitely no 'party voting' for representatives. The big difference from the CofE is that since 1993, the leaders of the main 'wings' of the Church have explicitly sought to engage on a Pilgrimage of Faith, listening carefully to each other, and not trying to out-manoeuvre or out-muscle the others. Or to be more cynical, Methodists are better at 'fudge' than Anglicans.

Posted by Stuart Bell at Thursday, 3 July 2014 at 10:09pm BST

Stephen the bold type in the statement above was, as stated, emphasis added by TA editors.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento at Thursday, 3 July 2014 at 11:11pm BST

To add a more sobering note, the conference also heard that membership fell 32% in the last decade - down to 206,000.

Whether that is related in any way to the OP above I leave to you to discuss!

Posted by Peter K+ at Saturday, 5 July 2014 at 8:54am BST

I simply made a legitimate comment. A declining membership in freefall and a denomination with hardly any conservative evangelical representation...unlike the Church of England.

Posted by Robert ian Williams at Saturday, 5 July 2014 at 11:03pm BST
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