The Methodist Church in Britain has moved a step closer to allowing same-sex marriages in its chapels.
The Church’s annual Conference, meeting in Birmingham this week, has commended the report “God in Love Unites Us” for consideration by regional synods.
The report departs considerably from the Church’s current position on marriage in proposing that Methodist ministers be allowed to conduct same-sex marriage ceremonies.
The recommendations include drawing up new liturgy to offer prayers for when marriages end in divorce and, controversially, also suggest that celibacy before marriage is no longer a requirement by proposing that churches can “offer thanks for and bless” cohabiting couples who are not married.
Specifically, Resolution 10/8 said: “The Conference consents in principle to the marriage of same-sex couples on Methodist premises throughout the Connexion and by Methodist ministers, probationers or members in so far as the law of the relevant jurisdiction permits or requires and subject to compliance with such further requirements, if any, as that law imposes.”
It was carried 247 for to 48 against.
After being commended by Conference, the proposals will now be debated in the District Synods in the coming months, with final resolutions on the proposals to be put before the Conference when it next meets in summer 2020.
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SOURCE: Christian Today