Men, Women and Marriage, and the Church in Wales

Coincident with the release of the much-criticised [1] report Men and Women in Marriage by the Faith and Order Commission of the Church of England, the Most Rev Dr Barry Morgan, Archbishop of Wales, gave his Presidential Address to the Governing Body of the Church in Wales, a significant part of which was devoted to the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill currently progressing through the UK Parliament.  As we noted in an earlier post, the C of E Report has very little to say about same-sex relationships (since it is essentially about marriage) although it does make the statement that

“… accommodations for specific conditions, bearing witness in special ways to the abiding importance of the norm. Well-designed accommodations proclaim the form of life given by God’s creative goodness and bring those in difficult positions into closer approximation to it. They mark the point where teaching and pastoral care coincide.”

Against this sometimes confusing study document Dr Morgan’s Presidential Address (and the more detailed analysis in Annex 4 of the Report of the Standing Committee) provided the Governing Body with a clear picture of the latest developments within the Bill, its likely outcome and implications for the Church in Wales, and possible directions for the future. So despite the documents’ different audiences and objectives, it is useful to review Dr Morgan’s address in terms of the approach being taken by the Church in Wales and where this differs from the C of E. Continue reading