London church holds special service in support of gay marriage
Published Sunday, July 14, 2019 6:06PM EDT Last Updated Sunday, July 14, 2019 6:33PM EDT
With the pews filled with colourful clothing and Pride symbols, St. Aidan’s Anglican Church sent a message Sunday it will not tolerate discrimination against the gay community.
The special service that welcomed all and asked people to wear multiple colours came after a motion to amend the Anglican Church of Canada canon allowing gay marriage was defeated by one vote.
That vote happened Friday in Vancouver.
“I’m hoping and my community here is hoping to get the message across to people that we whole-heartedly welcome you, we whole-heartedly love you, we whole-heartedly want you to be a part of what we are doing here,” said Rev. Kevin George of St. Aidan’s.
George blames a broken system for the defeat after the Church passed the motion three years ago, but in order to change doctrine it has to pass at two consecutive synods.
“We’ve moved the Church to a place where almost 80 per cent of the people who go to make these decisions are affirming of gay marriage. That’s not a failure. The failure is we’ve got a system that doesn’t allow that to get done.”
Greg Smith has been an Anglican priest for 40 years. He and his partner Marque were overwhelmed by the support Sunday.
“It’s been an amazing day that I didn’t know it would be like this,” he said.
During a passionate service, George spoke about how he had to refuse a church member’s request to the preside over her wedding.
“We raised a student here, who’s up in Labrador. We blessed her marriage in this space. I could not do Jan Grenoff’s wedding here because the Church can’t get its stuff together,” he said.
There is a glimmer of hope as local dioceses were given the right to decide what the covenant of marriage consists of. That means different areas of the country could allow or ban gay marriage services.
“It’s time, we’ve moved well passed it. And many jurisdictions in the Church, many dioceses have already done that. I’m calling upon our own bishop to do that. I’m calling on the Church in general to find a way,” George said.