Thinking Anglicans

Canadians: New Westminster responds

See earlier report on Canada here. Since then the situation in the New Westminster diocese has become clearer.

That diocese has now held a synod and voted to limit blessings within the diocese.
As explained in the official statement, this is not a moratorium, but simply a restriction on the number of authorised venues. Blessings are thus authorised to continue in the seven previously authorised parishes, and also in one additional parish, which had itself only voted to become such a place on April 3. But no new locations will now be authorised until at least 2007. There are 78 parishes in the diocese.

The diocese has also published the full text of the Diocesan Response to Windsor Report which is a 38 page document in PDF format. The press release says:

Whether to impose a complete or partial moratorium on same sex blessings made up only a small part of the report by Oakes and Leggett, but it was the only contentious item. The delegates agreed that sections of the Windsor report suggested too much centralization of power in the office of the Archbishop of Canterbury.

They also agreed that the Windsor report was wrong to state that the diocese had made no serious attempts to consult with other churches within the Anglican Communion before authorizing blessings.

Reuters report of the synod meeting: Anglicans offered compromise on same-sex unions.

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J. C. FisherAmbroseIrenaeusTim Recent comment authors
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Is it me or is that a fairly bizarre way to compromise: “you can get your blessing here or here but not over there”?

Then again, I’m not sure how else one could do it, apart from to say “it’s up to the local bishop” (or vicar/rector of each church) instead, perhaps…


As a synod delegate, I find this compromise to be not so bizarre as one might think. Consider it as a way to appease the conservatives in our diocese while retaining the ability to bless same sex unions. There were two amendments to the response to the Windsor Report that were voted on. The first was to enact no moratorium on the blessings whatsoever. This was supported by 35% of the Synod Delegates! The other amendment was to enact a full moratorium (as requested by the Windsor Report) and there were less than a dozen hands up in support of… Read more »


For the reason Ambrose states, this is really no compromise at all.


Some things are not so easily compromised.

J. C. Fisher

I think this will likely (over the next two years) be a burden on couples who would like to be married—excuse me, “blessed”—in their (otherwise-willing) home parishes.

. . . but as Christ asks us to go the extra mile (while the straight majority too-often just says “Get lost!”), I suppose it’s a compromise we can live with. :-/