This Week at St. Stephen’s–October 04, 2015


oct4 aSome of you may be wondering where we are in our attempts to receive our archbishop’s permission to offer same-sex blessings at St. Stephen’s.

The rector and wardens met with the Archbishop Greg in July to seek a clear statement of his intentions on this matter. The archbishop feels there has not been adequate conversation about same-sex blessings in the diocese, nor a thorough theological debate across the Anglican Church of Canada. The archbishop is proposing more discussion.

He would consider putting same-sex blessings on the agenda of a future meeting of diocesan synod, though in his view that might be two years from now. Pressed on his response should such a synod vote in favour of same-sex blessings, the archbishop conceded that he would still be hard pressed personally to give his approval.

Meanwhile a commission of our national church has completed its recommendations to change the marriage canon to permit the marriage of same-sex couples in the Anglican Church of Canada, the result of which is a draft motion to go before General Synod at its meeting in June of next year. Should that motion pass, provision will be made for local bishops and clergy, as a matter of conscience, to refuse to offer such marriages.

We are now considering a formal request for Shared Episcopal Oversight, wherein on this issue we would receive the pastoral care of another bishop. However, Archbishop Greg would be unwilling to share his jurisdictional authority with another bishop.

And there we are.

[Read the Report of the Commission on the Marriage Canon either in full or in summary by entering “Marriage Canon 2016” into the search engine at the Anglican Church of Canada website: ]

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