Questions in the House of Commons on the Pilling Report

On 9 January 2014 the Second Church Estates Commissioner, Sir Tony Baldry, responded to a question on the Pilling Report from Labour MP Ben Bradshaw — In 2006 Mr. Bradshaw became the first Cabinet Minister to register a same-sex civil partnership.

On 9 January 2014 the Second Church Estates Commissioner, Sir Tony Baldry, responded to a question on the Pilling Report from Labour MP Ben Bradshaw — In 2006 Mr. Bradshaw became the first Cabinet Minister to register a same-sex civil partnership.

Hansard source (Citation: HC Deb, 9 January 2014, c442)

Oral Answers to Questions — Church Commissioners

Ben Bradshaw (Exeter, Labour)

What assessment the Commissioners have made of the Pilling report, published by the House of Bishops working group on human sexuality in November 2013; and if he will make a statement.

Tony Baldry (Banbury, Conservative)

The report was discussed by the House of Bishops in December and its recommendations will be considered by the College of Bishops later this month.

Ben Bradshaw (Exeter, Labour)

Does the right hon. Gentleman accept that the report’s recommendation that parishes should be allowed to offer same-sex couples some sort of

blessing would in effect simply formalise what already happens in practice in many Anglican parishes? Does he agree that the vast majority of Anglicans in this country would welcome a more generous approach to long-term, faithful, same-sex relationships?

Tony Baldry (Banbury, Conservative)

I agree with the principle that everyone should be welcome at the communion rail. The working group did not recommend a new authorised liturgy, but a majority of its members did recommend that vicars should, with the consent of parochial church councils, be able to mark the formation of a permanent same-sex relationship in a public service. I am sure that that is one of the issues that the House of Bishops will be considering very seriously in the context of its consideration of the Pilling report’s recommendations.

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