Church Of England Takes Steps Towards Offering Blessings For Same-Sex Couples

Admittedly, most religious sects don’t have the best track record when it comes to LGBTQIA+ rights. Despite the fact that it’s 2023, many people of faith are still living in the stone age when it comes to treating lesbian, gay, trans, and others in the community with a basic level of human decency and respect. However, the Church of England is at least trying to make a bit of progress and is working towards offering blessings for same-sex couples.

In a four-hour debate held on Saturday, July 8, the church’s governing body, The General Synod, members discussed allowing same-sex couples to not only attend church but to have a prayer service after a civil marriage or partnership. These changes are a result of a landmark vote held in February 2023, with Bishop of London Sarah Mullally and Bishop of Truro Philip Mounstephen heading up the implementation of these changes.

Saturday’s meeting asked members to give their thoughts, feelings, and concerns on the changes, and Mullally and Mounstephen said they were “very grateful to Synod Members for their thoughtful contributions” to the conversation.

“It has been good to hear their reflections, and we will take these away to feed into the concentrated drafting work that starts now. We look forward to reconvening in November,” they said.

According to a post on the Church’s website, a draft set of texts known as Prayers of Love and Faith have been edited and new guidance for pastors of the Church to follow has been developed in response to February’s debate.

While a majority of the 226 responses received to the changes were positive, 78 people spoke out against the idea, with 60 claiming that the prayers were too akin to marriage, which the Church doesn’t approve of. However, 44 believed the measures didn’t go far enough and 42 believed more guidance needed to be set in stone to ensure the measures are carried out properly.

The Church of England voted in January to once again ban same-sex marriage, but they believe they’re doing something nice by letting LGBTQIA+ couples have a prayer service after someone else performs the actual marriage ceremony.

It’s always been odd to me that Christians, who claim to be all about the love of Christ and the idea that we’re all God’s precious creations, could be so blatant in their discrimination and hostility towards large swathes of those creations. Doesn’t make much sense to me! The Church of England can keep its “blessings” and “prayers” — get back to same-sex couples when you plan to treat them as equals.

Jennifer Still is a writer and editor with more than 10 years of experience. The managing editor of Bolde, she has bylines in Vanity Fair, Business Insider, The New York Times, Glamour, Bon Appetit, and many more. You can follow her on Twitter @jenniferlstill