Did the Acting Bishop of Oxford Jump the Gun?

 

Did the Acting Bishop of Oxford Jump the Gun?

Author: 

Susie Leafe

Reports that the Acting Bishop of Oxford, Rt Rev Colin Fletcher, (pictured) gave his permission for Revd Charlotte Bannister-Parker to lead a celebration of a same-sex wedding raise a number of questions to which answers are not forthcoming. A photograph showing Revd Charlotte Bannister Parker officiating, as the couple exchanged rings and made vows, was published in a South African newspaper more than two weeks ago, yet Reform have been told that Bishop Colin is having to take advice before commenting on the following:

  • Was the Acting Bishop of Oxford aware of the nature of the ‘celebration’ when he gave permission to Revd Charlotte Bannister-Parker to lead it?
  • Has the Acting Bishop of Oxford seen the liturgy/ order of service used? 
  • Does the Acting Bishop of Oxford believe that a ‘celebration’ of a marriage that re-enacts the giving and receiving of rings and the making of promises to one another and according to the report the ‘pronouncement that we now ‘recognise you as wife and wife’ falls within the terms of the Bishops’ Pastoral Guidance on Same-Sex Marriage?
  • Does the Acting Bishop of Oxford believe that a ‘celebration’ of a marriage that re-enacts the giving and receiving of rings and the making of promises to one another and according to the report the ‘pronouncement that we now ‘recognise you as wife and wife’ is consistent with the express terms of Lambeth 1:10?
  • If so, what would else would need to happen for this to be considered a ‘blessing’?

Meanwhile, the House of Bishops have been discussing plans for the forthcoming ‘shared conversations’ at General Synod.  The celebration in South Africa suggests that someone in the Diocese of Oxford thinks the conversation is over.

Will Stileman, vicar of Maidenhead and Chair of the Oxford Diocesan Evangelical Fellowship said, “Bishop Colin may have been unaware of the nature of the ‘celebration’ for which he gave permission but it is vital that he clarifies his understanding of the situation, as this has theological and pastoral implications for me and others in the diocese.” He went on, “I have been in contact with his office and hopefully I will be speaking with him on Wednesday.”

Susie Leafe – Director of Reform director@reform.org.uk  07753 690120

Categories: 
Provinces: