It has been an interesting week over at synod for those conerned about the state and direction of the Church of England. There are perhaps 200 vicars who are in civil partnerships (If anyone has a better estimate then please let me know) but they are required to remain celibate. Synod have recently voted on the motion that the pension rights of those clergy in a civil partnership will be the same as those who are married. This saddens me as it seems to suggest that civil partnerships are to be viewed on the same level as marriage. If this is the case then the Church of England is becoming more liberal and is rapidly moving away from biblical, historic and global orthodoxy. Are we a church which is committed to the word of God or one that is blown around by the spirit of the age. May God have mercy upon us!
Looking at the votes we see that 11.8% of eligible bishops voted against the motion, 17.7% of clergy and 40.1% of laity voted against the bill.
Here are the details from the Church of England website,
Following debate, the Revd Mark Bratton moved the following motion, which was carried by the Synod after a Division by Houses:
IN FAVOUR AGAINST ABSTENTIONS
Bishops 12 2 3
Clergy 97 23 10
Laity 78 59 9
‘That this Synod request the Archbishops’ Council and the Church of England Pensions Board to bring forward changes to the rules governing the clergy pension scheme in order to go beyond the requirements of the Civil Partnership Act 2004 and provide for pension benefits to be paid to the surviving civil partners of deceased clergy on the same basis as they are currently paid to surviving spouses.’