Clergyman's dismay over continued ban on gay weddings in church

A leading local clergyman has spoken of his '˜surprise and disappointment' at the failure of the Church of England's ruling body not to allow gay marriage in church.

Tuesday, 28th February 2017, 12:42 pm
Updated Wednesday, 1st March 2017, 9:38 am
Rector of Rusper and Colgate Parish Rev Nick Flint - picture submitted SUS-161011-155731001

The Rev Nick Flint, rector of Rusper, spoke out after the Church of England’s General Synod voted not to ‘take note’ of a controversial report on homosexuality and same sex marriage.

The report by the House of Bishops maintained that marriage in church should be only between a man and a woman and services should not be held to bless same-sex relationships.

Fifty-six-year-old Mr Flint, who is married with children, said: “To me it is inevitable that same sex marriages will be celebrated in church one day and that will be the norm - and I welcome that.

“When we look back, I think we’ll ask why were we dithering. The Church is always evolving. At one point divorcees couldn’t get re-married in church.”

He said he was ‘frustrated at the moment with the bishops who have closed ranks.’

The general consensus of bishops is a bit suspicious,” he said. “They are fearful and risk averse.

“We all know that, purely statistically, there must be gay bishops and it is such a pity they cannot be open about that.”

He described the struggle over same-sex marriage as being ‘as big as apartheid’ and added: “We’re all different and that is great.

“I am not trying to push my views on anyone but I think this change will happen and I feel the Church is using a lot of energy resisting it. I am disappointed in the bishops.”

He said he was puzzled by the fact that a democratically-elected government had ruled in law that gay marriage was legal. As a clergyman, he said, he had “sworn allegiance to Her Majesty and she apparently thinks this is OK. I am more than OK with it too.

“But the most I can do is what I am doing now and just putting out words of welcome.

“We are what we are and we are who we are.”