This timely comment on Canon B5 and the Prayers of Love and Faith has been kindly provided by Russell Dewhurst, Doctoral Student and Fellow of the Centre for Law and Religion, Cardiff University.
It could once be said that ‘uniformity…is one of the leading and distinguishing principles of the Church of England – nothing is left to the discretion and fancy of the individual’ (Newbery v. Goodwin (1811)). However, considerable liturgical variation is now permitted at the discretion of the minister under Canon B5, and it is for use under this discretion that Prayers of Love and Faith are to be provided. A draft of Prayers of Love and Faith has been published here, describing itself as a suite of resources for ‘praying with and for two people who love one another and who wish to give thanks for and mark that love in faith before God.’ This blog post comments on some relevant provisions of Canon B5. Continue reading