People here, (in South Africa), both lay and ordained are shocked and appalled that the Bishops of the Church of England have approved in principle church “blessings” for same sex couples. Reactions have come from within the Anglican church and from other denominations who often don’t draw a distinction between the Church of England and the Anglican Church of Southern Africa. This will have a massive influence for those who are pushing here in the South African church for same sex blessings. As we know, the blessing of a couple is implicitly the blessing of a union, even though it’s not a “marriage” service. When a priest does a blessing, he does it in the name of the church – it is not an individual or ‘private’ affair. Although the canon on marriage has not been changed, it is de facto an undermining of Christian marriage. The church has no power to bless what God has not blessed.