The Mothers’ Union are sponsoring a conference at All Saints’ Wellingborough on Saturday 1st September. As I understand it there will be speeches for and against, group discussion and a plenary session. I plan to be present because I am keen to present the case in favour of gay marriages taking place in church. I am hoping that on this occasion being a member of the Mothers’ Union which is open to men and women, single, married or divorced will have some weight.
It saddens me that the Church has so often been negative on many things including marriage. In the 16th century when the Book of Common Prayer marriage service was written, marriage was seen as a remedy against sin: most people don’t think like this anymore. And the first reason for marriage was considered to be the procreation of children, and companionship only the third reason. Modern services have reversed this order, and in that companionship is now the first reason for marriage, this has paved the way to same sex marriages.
The Church has gradually changed it s position on many issues. Slavery was considered once acceptable by Christian people. Contraceptives were not approved of in many quarters until then Lambeth Conference stated that people should under God plan the number of children they procreate. The divorced were banned from receiving Holy Communion, and such a state was looked on with disapproval. Gradually changes have been made. Prayers in church, but not blessing was a first step, and then blessing second marriages, and finally many clergy are now prepared to marry divorcees provided there is no scandal caused to the church as a result. I recall tears of joy from the bridegroom as I officiated at my first marriage of two divorcees.
All along the line, there has been opposition to a move forwards, and there is certainly going to be over gay marriages. The great question is: how long will it be before the Church sees sense, and realises that people are made gay by God and that marriage solemnised in church would bring great joy to some gay couples?
I will return to the subject when I have been to the conference.