Thinking Anglicans

Inclusive Church statement on civil partners pensions

Inclusive Church

Press Release

11th February 2010

Inclusive Church welcomes the vote by the Church of England’s General Synod to extend pension rights beyond the legal minimum for civil partners.

The motion was carried by a clear majority in the Houses of Bishops, Clergy and Laity. The debate was characterised by a desire to show that the church can act justly and generously in support of those in civil partnerships.

Revd. Canon Giles Goddard, Chair of Inclusive Church said:

“This vote underlines Archbishop’s Rowan Williams’ earlier comments and clearly demonstrates that the Church of England is opposed to all forms of homophobia. I hope this will be the beginning of a new openness towards LGBT people in the church.”

Revd Mark Bratton, proposer of the motion said:

“This unexpected result will encourage those who have given their lives to supporting those in ministry that the church values their commitment and sacrifice.”

The motion:

“That this Synod request the Archbishops’ Council and the Church of England Pensions Board to bring forward changes to the rules governing the clergy pension scheme in order to go beyond the requirements of the Civil Partnership Act 2004 and provide pension benefits to be paid to the surviving civil partners of deceased clergy on the same basis as they are currently paid to surviving spouses.”

Voting:

Bishops
12 for
2 against
3 abstentions
Clergy
97 for
23 against
10 abstentions
Laity
78 for
59 against
9 abstentions

More information contact:
Revd Canon Giles Goddard 07762 373 674
Revd Mark Bratton 0754 060 4225

ends

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rozerMartin ReynoldsOliviaRev L RobertsVernon Recent comment authors
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Chris Smith
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Chris Smith

BRAVO! This is truly a wonderful moment for the Anglican Communion in general and The Church of England in particular. It will be interesting to see comments from various groups that disagree with this historic moment in the life of the Church. This action is another step in the direction of inclusion instead of exclusion and therefore, most closely follows Christ’s example. I look forward to The Church of England’s first female shepherdess and I hope this happens sooner rather than later.

Father Ron Smith
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Father Ron Smith

“This vote underlines Archbishop Rowan Williams’ earlier comments (n Synod) and clearly demonstrates that the Church of England is opposed to all forms of homophobia. I hope that this will be the beginning of a new openness towards LGBT people in the Church.” – Giles Goddard, Inclusive Church – AMEN and Amen! Thanks to those in the Church of England General Synod who, after the Archbishop of Canterbury’s moving affirmation of Gay clergy and others in the Church, have set their seal on their outreach towards surviving Civil Partners of deceased clergy in the Church of England. One wonders how… Read more »

Kelvin Holdsworth
Guest

Father Ron Smith asks: “One wonders how many other Provinces of the Anglican Communion have yet shown this official approval of the pension rights of Civil Partnerships?”

The Scottish Episcopal Church did this a number of years ago.

Spirit of Vatican II
Guest
Spirit of Vatican II

I suppose this action speaks louder than words. It makes the RCC look totally benighted in contrast.

Clerics have an unconscious arrogance in setting themselves up as granting gays the right to live their lives (this applies especially to liberal clerics). Now the development of glbt values is happening quite independently of clerical comment or control and our adjustments to this are just seen as rearranging deckchairs.

PeterB
Guest

This is going to sound like a flame, but it’s really not. I’m just ignorant. How does Lambeth Resolution 1:10 relate to the Church of England? (I understand that it was a Lambeth Conference – therefore Anglican Communion resolution not a CofE one) Having an organisation which says that something is wrong, whilst at the same time providing support and encouragement for that same thing just makes us all look rediculous. Right now I feel that it would be better for the church to split than to just pretend that there’s unity where there clearly isn’t. The problem is that… Read more »

Fr John E. Harris-White
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Fr John E. Harris-White

Thanks be to God. Indeed the Holy Spirit is abroad, and due respect must be given to Archbishop Rowan for his words in his presidential address. Not easy to say sorry, when so many ‘christians’ take the negative view of LGBT, and others with whom they disagree. May this move be the beginning of a light to lighten all, and a move to an inclusive church. I have been a priest in the Church of England for many, many years, and although I now live in Scotland, my roots and home is still with the Church of England. I love… Read more »

David Green
Guest

Christ died for all of this,..but no one seems to have noticed,..especially the so-called CONSERVATIVE FACTIONS!!!

Fr Dougal
Guest
Fr Dougal

“clearly demonstrates that the Church of England is opposed to all forms of homophobia.” That I seriously doubt. It is, at least in part, a sharp manouvere to deflect criticism ofter the row over the Equalities Bill. Doubtless most of Synod recognise that to do otherwise would have given the Church the definite appearance of being irredeemably homophobic, but to claim it as any more than a step in the right direction is to spin outrageously.

Jeremy Pemberton
Guest
Jeremy Pemberton

I know I am getting old and jaded, so forgive me if I don’t get too excited about this. Don’t get me wrong. I am delighted that the Synod has decided to do this. But frankly, it is only what they should have done from the start. Putting right a wrong is good, but it hardly deserves special congratulations. I don’t believe it shows any real intention to repent of the institutional homophobia that bedevils the institution. It is only weeks since bishops were prepared to fight to the death to retain the right to discriminate as much as they… Read more »

Rev L Roberts
Guest
Rev L Roberts

This is going to sound like a flame, but it’s really not. I’m just ignorant. How does Lambeth Resolution 1:10 relate to the Church of England? (I understand that it was a Lambeth Conference – therefore Anglican Communion resolution not a CofE one)’ Sir, You may be delighted to know that this Resolution is backed by the full authority of any Lambeth Conference. Yes, yes, I know, it is That authoritative ! The skull-dugery and bad faith of Geo Carey and henchpersons and their behind the scenes manipulation, of the responsible sub-committee and its rather saintly and other-wordly chair, does… Read more »

Rev L Roberts
Guest
Rev L Roberts

‘I don’t think there will be much to get excited about until Rowan heeds his own warm words, that “no Anglican has any business reinforcing prejudice against LGBT people, questioning their human dignity and civil liberties or their place within the Body of Christ”, and starts by getting the House of Bishops to think how they might say and do some things that make it crystal clear that this is their polity.’ Posted by: Jeremy Pemberton on Friday, 12 February 2010 at 2:09pm GMT I applaud the spirit and content of Jeremy Pemberton’s post in general, and the words cited… Read more »

Rev L Roberts
Guest
Rev L Roberts

al thought…. the name calling (and I’m sure there is some from both sides) is really unhelpful, as is the triumphalism. Posted by: PeterB on Friday, 12 February 2010 at 9:35am GMT Well now, ‘a Christian Dad’, this news does make me feely happy but not triumphalist. I’ve not read anything remotely ‘triumphalist’ here about this pensions news, but quite a few expressions of delight and happiness.– it’s not really about the money- lesbian and gay people have always had to get with things and have usually had to be financially and emotionally self-supporting (with a huge input of Grace,… Read more »

Robert Ian williams
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Robert Ian williams

Is jeremy Pemberton the evangelical who was curate at St George’s leeds in the 1980s? If so what has happened?

If reform churches with their quota capping are logical and consistent their clergy will withdraw from the pension scheme.

Robert Ellis
Guest
Robert Ellis

I never for one moment thought that this motion would be passed. Having served as a Proctor in Convocation on three sessions of General Synod I know how these sorts of motions are quietly disposed of. There is a God after all and my heart rejoices at a time when life in the dear old Church of England is pretty grim and unaffirming for gay people.

PeterB
Guest

L Roberts, I agree re: triumphalism. My words were poorly chosen.

re: the backing of the state for my lifestyle it hardly feels like it, but that’s a thought deserving of a blog-post rather than a comment.

Richard Ashby
Guest
Richard Ashby

Interesting that such a large minority of the laity voted against. Makes you wonder who they represent. Who were the Bishops who voted against or abstained?

Rev L Roberts
Guest
Rev L Roberts

Regarding Lambeth Resolutions & Encyclicals The discernible pattern, though not completely infallible rule for Lambeth Resolutions tends to be that the Lambeth Fathers meet, deliberate and solemnly harrump on say Biblical Criticism and the new learning, Contraception, or the Ordination of Women and having issued a Condemnation or three, they go on, blithely to authorize what they had previously Anathematized ! Yes, I know they tend to play catch-up, following what the Church on the ground is believing and doing. The problem with the modern Lambeth Conference is that they have got Far Too Big For Their Boots * having… Read more »

Malcolm+
Guest

PeterB, Lambeth 1998 1-10 has exactly the same authority as any other resolution of a Lambeth Conference – none. Lambeth Conference resolutions reflect the view (historically the consensus view, more recently the majority view) of the bishops in attendance. As such, the member Churches of the Communion should carefully read and consider them. Despite the recent revisionism of the pretendy conservatives, no member Church of the Communion is bound by this or any other Lambeth resolution. That said, 1998 1-10 really doesn’t go beyond saying that the Conference could not then advise the Churches of the Communion to bless same… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
Guest
Father Ron Smith

“In addition, 1998 1-10 specifically calls on the Provinces to engage in a deliberate process to listen to the experience of homosexual persons. Those same hypocrites who pretend a) that 1-10’s rejection of LGBTQs is absolute and b) that 1-10 is binding on all feel quite free to ignore that particular part of the resolution.” – Malcom+ – From what we have learned about the activity and venom against LGBTs in certain Provinces of the Church (including the faux-province of ACNA), we have no evidence of this part of Lambeth 1:10 ever having been fulfilled by these sola scriptura entities.… Read more »

Malcolm+
Guest

Fr. Ron – It is edifying (though not pleasant) to read through some of the responses to the listening process recorded on the Communion website. (http://anglicancommunion.org/listening/reports/index.cfm)

Some provinces spoke honestly about what they heard, why they had difficulty or even, in a couple of cases, why they felt unable to proceed with the listening process to this point.

But the Church of Nigeria (for example) was quite proud of the fact that they were giving Lambeth 1998 1-10 the metaphorical finger (http://anglicancommunion.org/listening/reports/nigeria.cfm). The statement is unequivocal that they had not and would not would not listen to any homosexual person.

Vernon
Guest
Vernon

Giles Goddard remarks:
“I hope this will be the beginning of a new openness towards LGBT people in the church.”

Candidates for ministry are required on Ministry Division registration papers to state whether they are single, married or divorced. If they are divorced a complex and intrusive faculty procedure is followed before they can be accepted for ministry.

They are not asked if they are Civilly Partnered, or if a Civil Partnership they were in has dissolved.

Can we now ask for equality and “a new openness” in this area now?

Rev L Roberts
Guest
Rev L Roberts

I kinda guessed it didn’t feel like you had the Backing of society, the Law and indeed the state–but, in fact, you DO. Can you now try to put yourself in the place of those of us whose lives and relationships have been subject to prosecution by the State and the full force of the Criminal Law for most of our lives ? (That really would take a blog or two !) Have you read novels such as Maurice (EMF) or Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit etc ? ‘re: the backing of the state for my lifestyle it hardly… Read more »

Rev L Roberts
Guest
Rev L Roberts

I would welcome evidence in support of this assertion. ‘Giles Goddard remarks: “I hope this will be the beginning of a new openness towards LGBT people in the church.” Candidates for ministry are required on Ministry Division registration papers to state whether they are single, married or divorced. If they are divorced a complex and intrusive faculty procedure is followed before they can be accepted for ministry. They are not asked if they are Civilly Partnered, or if a Civil Partnership they were in has dissolved. Can we now ask for equality and “a new openness” in this area now?’… Read more »

Olivia
Guest
Olivia

I think Vernon has pointed out an anomaly, one which I’m sure will be dealt with in due course.

Perhaps at the same time, a new rule can be instituted by which ordinands or clergy wishing to get married to an opposite-sex partner will be required to have an interview with the Bishop to reassure him that the marriage will not be sexually expressed.

Martin Reynolds
Guest
Martin Reynolds

“This vote underlines Archbishop’s Rowan Williams’ earlier comments and clearly demonstrates that the Church of England is opposed to all forms of homophobia.”

I don’t know what planet the lovely Giles now inhabits – but it seems to have a happy atmosphere – almost hallucinogenic

rozer
Guest

This unexpected result will encourage those who have given their lives to supporting those in ministry that the church values their commitment and sacrifice.