Thinking Anglicans

Bishop of Salisbury on equal marriage

Nick Holtam, the Bishop of Salisbury, spoke in support of equal marriage at yesterday’s Cutting Edge Consortium conference. CEC have published the text of the bishop’s talk as a Google document, and we have made it available as a more convenient webpage.

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Laurence RobertsDavid ShepherdSusannahErika BakerRobert ian willliams Recent comment authors
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Father Ron Smith
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Thank goodness for the sanity and openness of at least one of the Church of England Bishops! Nick Holtam here enunicates what many of us in the Church are now thinking: That Gay Marriage is no threat to the institution of Heterosexual Marriage. Perhaps the biggest threat to any marriage, gay or straight, is the spectre of unfaithfulness and the culture of ‘Changing Partners. As Saint Paul reminds us: “It is better to marry than burn!” Why then should intrinsically Gay persons not be actively encouraged to commit themselves to a monogamous, faithful, partnership for life? Surely Gay Marriage will… Read more »

Father David
Guest
Father David

Once upon a time the Church used to take a lead in moral issues – now all it seems to do is follow the secular tend like a naughty dog with its tail between its legs.
I am scratching my head trying to remember the last time an increasingly irrelevant Established Church lead the way – was it really as far back as Runcie’s “Faith in the City”?
There’s much talk nowadays about our omnishambles Government – how long will it be before critics and observers apply the same word to the once great Church of England

Robert Ellis
Guest
Robert Ellis

It is so refreshing to read something that is so sensible and full of commonsense. I think we may be turning a bit of a corner and people are beginning to break rank a little more. Once the crumble starts there will be no going back….as with the Covenant.

Fr John Harris-White
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Fr John Harris-White

The Holy Spirit is thankfully alive in some parts of the Anglican communion. Nick has become Bishop of Salisbury, in spite of Rowan. Now we have his positive talk on same sex marriage. Just let us thank God.

Una Kroll
Guest

Thank God for some sensible comments by Nick Holtam. All Churches, including the RC Church permit poersons past the age of childbearing to marry in church despite the fact that pregnancy is impossible. Marriage is more than creating children. It is a covenantal relationship with grace from God.

I do not like the idea of religious marriage being different from secular marriage.

Richard Ashby
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Richard Ashby

First Civil Partnerships and now gay mnarriage has caught the Church as ever on the back foot, thrashing around in ignorance and prejudice trying to discover what it ought to be doing. Just saying NO is no longer good enough. Bishops Nick and Alan Wilson are leading the way to an affirming church which sees good in permanent faithful and stable relationships of what ever sexuality and which encourages them as a model for society as a whole. We should be particularly thankful that Bishop Nick clearly hasn’t caved into Graham Kings et al and is prepared to continue to… Read more »

Craig Nelson
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Craig Nelson

I must say I do agree with Una. If procreation is excluded by virtue of use of contraception, being of post child bearing age, having had sterilisation or engaging in non-reproductive sex acts then all such sex is presumably all equally reprehensible (Humanae Vitae at least has a degree of internal logic to it). I may have missed it but I cannot recall the C of E restricting marriage to the fertile and intending to reproduce, or indeed of teaching the faithful to make sure they stay celibate if unable or unwilling to procreate. This moral law applies in its… Read more »

David Shepherd
Guest

Concerning the Coalition for Marriage petition of over 450,000 signatures, Nick Holtam states: ‘It is a very large number, but still only a quarter of the 1.8 million who signed the petition opposing road tolls in 2007, and the equivalent of about 12% of those who are regular church attenders in this country.’ By that comparison, he endeavours to undermine the relevance of the petition, only to highlight the views of two unrepresentative samples as more relevant. According to Bishop Holtam, the informal responses of local sixth-formers and over 60s at a Salisbury Deanery Synod meeting need not be qualified… Read more »

Robert ian willliams
Guest
Robert ian willliams

No Craig, you’ve got it wrong….as long as the couple do nothing to thwart the will of God, they are in good faith..they are still open to a miracle.

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

RIW
Well, if you need to rely on miracles to keep gay people out of your concept of marriage, then you’re limiting God by saying he can only perform miracles for straight couples.
Who’s to say he couldn’t do it for a gay couple too?

Laurence Roberts
Guest
Laurence Roberts

‘the outcome of the British Social Attitudes Survey 2008. The latter clearly showed that .. the population was largely in favour of Civil Partnerships’

What wonderful news ! I had no idea.

Susannah
Guest
Susannah

David, fidelity and lifelong commitment used to be Christian values – until lesbian and gay couples asked to be part of the same formula of seeking blessing of God and recognition of their sincere love from the Church. That is basically what he is advocating, along with respect for people’s love, regardless of gender or orientation. I think he is a good man. Marriage is harmed by breakdown of heterosexual relationships, not by other people wanting to embrace its devotion, care and commitment. The Church should be encouraging, affirming, and embracing this fidelity and commitment – and love – and… Read more »

David Shepherd
Guest

Susannah: The institution of marriage is harmed by reducing its foundation to nothing more than an intense emotional connection. While emotions are important, the marriage is open to legal annulment (as if it didn’t happen) by either party when consummation does not result. This is understood by the law to be the normal expectation of marriage. It may surprise you that consummation does not result from an affectionate hug shared with no other, nor a special handshake extended to one’s spouse alone. Instead, it’s consenting organic bodily union that signals that both parties intend a conjugal relationship and the full… Read more »

Laurence Roberts
Guest
Laurence Roberts

Susannah has it right.