Michael Fabricant. Picture: UK Parliament
Michael Fabricant. Picture: UK Parliament

Churches across Lichfield and Burntwood should “seize the opportunity” to allow same sex marriages, an MP has said.

It comes after the Archbishop of Canterbury offered support to churches wishing to carry out gay weddings by pledging not to punish them for doing so.

The Most Reverend Justin Welby told a decennial gathering of the Anglican Communion: “I neither have, nor do I seek, the authority to discipline or exclude a church of the Anglican Communion. I will not do so.”

Lichfield MP Michael Fabricant said:

“I hope many Church of England churches and cathedrals in the West Midlands and beyond will now seize this opportunity to do God’s work and make many same sex couples happy and fulfilled by allowing marriage in church.”

Michael Fabricant

The Archbishop of Canterbury confirmed the “validity” of Resolution 1.10 from the 1998 Lambeth Conference, which affirmed that marriage was “between a man and a woman”, and that same-sex relationships were unscriptural – is “not in doubt”.

But he added:

“As Lambeth 1.10 also states ‘all baptised, believing and faithful persons, regardless of sexual orientation are full members of the Body of Christ’ and to be welcomed, cared for and treated with respect.’”

The Archbishop of Canterbury

Mr Fabricant said:

“This is a clever compromise by the Archbishop.

“I have spoken before about this as some bishops from the Anglican communion community – particularly those from Africa, south Asia and other developing countries – do not exhibit the same tolerance and love for all their congregants that we do in the West.

“This has already caused schisms particularly in some Anglican churches in the United States.

“I do sometimes wonder whether on balance the Anglican community would be better splitting into two different communions – the tolerant and the intolerant with the Archbishop presiding over the tolerant wing.

“In any event, I hope that Lichfield Cathedral might lead the way on this.

“There are many Christian congregants in same sex relationships whose joy would be fulfilled by marriage in Lichfield’s beautiful 13th Century cathedral.

“I realise I will anger the intolerant by expressing these views, and I have no authority over the Church of England in any event. Still, I hope my comments will cause some reflection and that maybe some priests will seize the opportunity that the Archbishop has presented.”

Michael Fabricant
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