Camden vicars defy Bishops to offer their congratulations to gay newlyweds

15:00 28 March 2014

Camden Anglican priests who are supporting gay marriage (from left)  Rev David Rushton, Rev Marjorie Brown, Rev Andrew Cain, Rev Clair Wilson and Rev Paul Nicholson. Picture: Nigel Sutton

Camden Anglican priests who are supporting gay marriage (from left) Rev David Rushton, Rev Marjorie Brown, Rev Andrew Cain, Rev Clair Wilson and Rev Paul Nicholson. Picture: Nigel Sutton

© Nigel Sutton email

Vicars across Camden have defied edicts sent down by the Church of England and united to offer their “congratulations” and “best wishes” to gay couples getting married across the borough this weekend.

Tonight the country’s first ever same-sex marriage ceremonies take place after Parliament approved a change in the law last year.

The new legal rights caused controversy among some Bishops and led to an amendment being passed excluding the Church of England from the laws.

Edicts recently sent down by Bishops in the House of Lords reaffirmed the church’s official stance that marriage could only be a “lifelong union between one man and one woman”.

But 16 reverends of parishes in the borough have dismissed the bishops’ statements and signed a letter of support for same-sex newlyweds.

The letter reads: “As members of the clergy of the Church of England in Camden we want to offer our congratulations to same-sex couples and their families and friends and our very best wishes to them for many happy years of married life together.”

It continues: “Marriage is a way of life that is holy and is a sign of unity and fidelity which all should uphold and honour.”

Vicars from St Mary’s Church in Elsworthy Road, Primrose Hill, Emmanuel Church in Lyncroft Gardens, West Hampstead, and Holy Cross Church in Cromer Street, King’s Cross, have all signed the open letter, although their stance does not necessarily represent the views of everyone in these churches.

Father Andrew Cain, the vicar for St James’, in Sheriff Road, West Hampstead, and St Mary’s with All Souls, Kilburn, is one of those who has signed the letter.

He has seen his own future in the clergy thrown into doubt after vowing to marry his own partner this summer.

He is confident he has his congregation’s support.

“The church is enormously divided by this and some bishops have been telling us they’re uncomfortable with the publicity those clergy members in favour of gay marriage are getting,” said Father Andrew.

“But within my congregation we’ve received a lot of support. I think it shows the world has changed and that people now support same-sex marriages.

“Our message to all those getting married this weekend is firstly, congratulations, and secondly, if you would like the church to pray for you, get in touch with one of us.”

The Rev Marjorie Brown, of St Mary’s Church in Primrose Hill, suggested the change had parallels to the struggles women faced in being accepted by the church.

“It’s always been hard for the church to accept change but when it happens people are quite quickly left wondering what the fuss was all about,” she said.

“I understand the cautious stance of some in the church but society has moved on and we need to be inconclusive.

“I’ve already had some members of my congregation leaving because they say they can’t bear to be part of an institution that discriminates.”


Latest News Stories

Yesterday, 17:56
Squatters at 156 West End Lane in West Hampstead are evicted

Squatters have left empty former council offices in West Hampstead peacefully on Saturday morning after bailiffs arrived.

Yesterday, 15:11
Evidence for the trial

A woman from Crouch Hill has been disqualified from owning animals for life after keeping dogs in cages stacked on top of each other nearly every day.

Yesterday, 14:03
Claudia Tabitha, 23, Big Issue vendor. Photo: Polly Hancock

A pregnant Big Issue vendor has been overwhelmed by generous offers of support from local parents.

Yesterday, 12:14
Neelu Berry

An activist making claims of satanic abuse at a Hampstead church could face three new charges of witness intimidation.

Sunday, November 29, 2015
Hornsey Town Hall Appreciation Society members. From left Amanda Carrara, Chris Currer, Mark Afford, Miriam Levin and Dave Winskill.

The fight for community ownership of Hornsey Town Hall continues, even though the council officially invited bids from developers last week.

Sunday, November 29, 2015
Expedition 45 Commander SCOTT KELLY took this selfie photograph during a 7-hour and 16-minute spacewalk. This was the first spacewalk for both Kelly and Flight Engineer Kjell Lindgren; the two will venture outside the International Space Station for the second time on next Friday. Kelly becomes the U.S. astronaut who has lived in space the longest during a single U.S. spaceflight, and on Monday, Nov. 2, the crew celebrates the 15th year of a continuous human presence in space aboard the station. (Credit Image: © NASA/ZUMA Wire)

Young gardeners are preparing for a close encounter of the herbaceous kind when they attempt to grow seeds from outer space.

Sunday, November 29, 2015
Keir Starmer arrives with his wife Victoria at the election count. Picture: Polly Hancock

It’s been six months since Sir Keir Starmer won the safe Labour seat of Holborn and St Pancras by a huge majority.

Saturday, November 28, 2015
Volunteers plant a new herbaceous border to mark Waterlow Park's 125th anniversary. Picture: Polly Hancock

Volunteers armed with gardening forks and spades replanted a herbaceous border to mark a Highgate park’s 125th anniversary.

Most read news

Property Newsletter Sign-up

Get the latest North London property news and features straight to your inbox with our regular newsletter

I am also happy to receive other emails...
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot


Nike Trainers

Nike’s motto is ‘to bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world.’ With this in mind it’s no surprise why Nike is the preferred training gear for most A-list athletes. Get an extra boost in your run or height in your jump with £500 to spend on Nike trainers.

MAC Makeup

MAC are renowned for their flawless, fabulous make up that is used worldwide by the stars. You too can have the chance to have the perfect makeup to suit your needs with £1,000 to spend on all the glam goodies you like!

Digital Edition

Read the Hampstead & Highgate Express e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24

Local business directory

Our trusted business finder