Same-gender weddings can now happen in Nelson’s St. Saviour’s (seen here) as well as at Anglican churches in Kaslo and Balfour. File photo

Anglican churches in Nelson, Balfour, Kaslo to marry same-gender couples

Rev. Jeff Donnelly says he’d love to host LGBTQ weddings

The reverend of three local Anglican churches says he’s received permission to authorize same-gender marriages despite the failure of a vote last month that would have amended marriage canon in Canada.

Rev. Jeff Donnelly, the parish pastor of St. Saviour’s in Nelson, St. Mark’s in Kaslo and St. Michael and All Angels in Balfour, says he has been given the green light to marry same-gender couples by Rev. Dr. Lynne McNaughton, who is the Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Kootenay.

Donnelly said his churches had already been symbolically blessing, if not authorizing, same-gender marriages since 2016.

“There’s been really overwhelming support, pretty much unanimous that we want to support it,” he said.

The national vote at the July 12 General Synod required a two-thirds majority from the three houses of the Anglican Church to pass. Despite receiving 81 per cent approval from the House of Laity, 72 per cent from the House of Priests and 62 per cent from the House of Bishops, the vote failed because the latter house was just short of the required votes.

The result, Donnelly said, has led to anger and the misconception that the Anglican Church does not support same-gender marriages.

“We basically said as a church that that is acceptable, that is OK. But those who choose not to, we will respect their teaching, their view as well.”

Related:

Kootenay Anglican bishop voices favour for same-gender marriages

Kootenay Anglican bishops, priests grapple with same-sex marriage vote

The three churches are able to hold same-gender marriages because of a local option made available to bishops who can authorize the weddings within their diocese. McNaughton has previously said she will give permission to any requests from parishes within the Diocese of Kootenay, which includes churches in the Kootenays and Okanagan.

The decision to add same-gender marriage, Donnelly said, keeps the churches in step with the community they serve.

“This is a very progressive church on many, many issues. The Anglican church in the Diocese of the Kootenay is also very progressive on many social issues, a lot of them are social justice issues. This is just a natural extension of who the people here are.”

Donnelly has been parish pastor of the three local churches since 2015. He was in attendance at the General Synod in Vancouver for the July 12 vote and believes the proposed amendment would have passed if three bishops who were absent with medical issues had been able to vote.

“It really highlighted this way of doing things doesn’t work,” said Donnelly. “It’s a very old, convoluted way of doing governance in the church, and basically it’s helped us to recognize that we need to change this. It didn’t work. It’s a broken system as far as we’re concerned.”

Regardless of the vote, people who identify as LGBTQ can be married in local Anglican churches. The only pre-requisite is one person has to be a baptized Christian, although Donnelly said that’s not necessarily a hard rule.

Donnelly has never officiated a same-gender wedding, but said he’d love to see it happen at one of his churches.

“I would be really delighted if we did.”



tyler.harper@nelsonstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Inquest planned in death of Peter de Groot

It’s been five years since the Slocan man was shot by RCMP

South Okanagan-West Kootenay candidates talk climate change and environment at recent forum

Forum on Tuesday grilled candidates about plan to bring about low carbon emission economy

Celgar says equipment failure won’t affect production next week

The chip dumper collapse on Oct. 6 is still under investigation

‘If we do nothing, the herd will certainly be extirpated’: Caribou maternity pen proposed in Nakusp

The Arrow Lakes Caribou Society is waiting for a response from the province

Scheer, Trudeau, Singh haggle over potential minority government outcome

If you believe the polls, it appears the Liberals and Conservatives are neck-and-neck

‘The more you test, the more you find’: Beef recalls a sign of success, experts say

Despite appearances, experts say a recent rise in major recalls is not a sign of food supply problems

Two years later, City of Fernie remembers

Oct. 17, 2019 marks two years since the tragic ammonia leak at Fernie Memorial Arena

Japanese buyer expands wood pellet contract with B.C.’s Pinnacle

Mitsui and Co. increases contract with Interior energy producer

ELECTION 2019: Have Justin Trudeau’s Liberals really cut middle-class taxes?

Conservative Andrew Scheer vows to cut bottom bracket, NDP’s Jagmeet Singh targets wealth tax

B.C. RCMP officer suing the force for malicious prosecution

Cpl. Tammy Hollingsworth cleared of wrongdoing after misconduct hearing

Talk to your kids about vaping, B.C.’s top doctor says

B.C. health officials have discovered the first vaping-related illness in the province

Alberta truck convoy plans counter-protest at climate rally with Greta Thunberg

United We Roll organizer says similar protest planned for Swedish teen’s event in Edmonton

British family deported after ‘accidental’ U.S. border crossing

U.S. officials deny it was mistake, release video of vehicle crossing into Washington from Langley

Most Read