Gayrights

Cam­bus­lang min­is­ter’s thoughts on de­ci­sion

Rutherglen Reformer - - Front Page - Jonathan Ged­des

A Cam­bus­lang min­is­ter has wel­comed the de­ci­sion of the Scot­tish Epis­co­pal Church to al­low same-sex mar­riage.

The Rev Paul Fletcher, of St Cuth­bert’s Epis­co­pal Church be­lieves last week’s an­nounce­ment is cor­rect.

A Cam­bus­lang min­is­ter has wel­comed the de­ci­sion of the Scot­tish Epis­co­pal Church to al­low same-sex mar­riage.

The Rev Paul Fletcher, of St Cuth­bert’s Epis­co­pal Church, be­lieves last week’s an­nounce­ment is cor­rect.

He told the Re­former: “It’s a thing that has taken a long time to hap­pen within the Epis­co­pal Church. It started two or three years ago, and has been hoped for by many peo­ple for longer than that.

“But we have been go­ing this way slowly, and want­ing to in­clude as many voices in the con­gre­ga­tion as pos­si­ble, for some time.

“Per­haps 30 years ago I would have said some­thing dif­fer­ent but like many folk I’ve had my own jour­ney of un­der­stand­ing, and I wel­come the change that we have made, and the pos­si­bil­i­ties this gives us for the fu­ture.”

The vote to amend canon law on mar­riage, re­mov­ing the stip­u­la­tion that it is be­tween a man and a woman, was car­ried by the church’s Synod in Ed­in­burgh and means that gay Chris­tians from any Angli­can Church can now ask to be mar­ried in a Scot­tish Epis­co­pal Church.

They are the first Angli­can church to per­mit same-sex mar­riage.

The de­ci­sion has been met with a mixed re­ac­tion from across other Angli­can churches, but has been wel­comed by gay rights cam­paign­ers.

In a lengthy post on St Cuth­bert’s Face­book page, Rev Fletcher out­lined var­i­ous the­o­log­i­cal rea­sons why the amend­ment was cor­rect, touch­ing upon dif­fer­ences in cul­ture be­tween now and when the Old Tes­ta­ment was writ­ten and that Jesus’s words ref­er­enc­ing mar­riage be­ing be­tween man and woman in the New Tes­ta­ment are be­ing used as a metaphor and al­le­gory.

The Face­book post also ex­am­ines St Paul’s men­tion of ho­mo­sex­u­al­ity in the New Tes­ta­ment, and con­cludes by look­ing at how the tra­di­tional un­der­stand­ing of mar­riage has moved forwards.

He said: “There will be con­gre­ga­tions that are more evan­gel­i­cal, very An­glo-Catholic or a va­ri­ety of opin­ions and prac­tices. We have a broad va­ri­ety of folk try­ing to main­tain unity within a broad the­o­log­i­cal spec­trum.

“How­ever, this is some­thing that has been dis­cussed in var­i­ous churches and de­nom­i­na­tions for many years, so there is a lot of the­o­log­i­cal and scrip­tural in­ter­pre­ta­tion that pro­motes the thought that it would be right to in­clude same gen­der mar­riage.

“I’ve tried to equip my own con­gre­ga­tion through what I put on Face­book to try and come to terms the­o­log­i­cally with the de­ci­sion and re­alise that there is a cred­i­ble scrip­tural case there.”

The full post with Rev Fletcher’s thoughts can be read on the St Cuth­bert’s Epis­co­pal Church Face­book page.

New man Rev Fletcher, right, took the reins from Rev David Jasper ear­lier this year

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