Search

Future uncertain for West Hampstead priest who defied church to marry gay partner

PUBLISHED: 10:50 25 June 2014 | UPDATED: 11:07 25 June 2014

Fr Andrew Foreshew-Cain with husband Stephen

Fr Andrew Foreshew-Cain with husband Stephen

Archant

The future of a West Hampstead priest has been left hanging in the balance after he defiantly ignored edicts sent down by his own church leaders by marrying his gay partner of 14 years.

Father Andrew Foreshew-Cain became the second gay priest in the country to marry under the new same-sex marriage laws since they were enacted back in March.

While describing the service on Saturday with atheist partner Steven Foreshew-Cain as “perfect and incredibly moving”, the vicar of St James’, in Sheriff Road, West Hampstead, and St Mary’s with All Souls, Kilburn, says he has now been left uncertain as to whether he will be allowed to continue serving his parish.

His marriage took place the same weekend the first gay priest to marry – Canon Jeremy Pemberton – was stripped of permission to work as a priest in the diocese of Southwell and Nottingham, as church officials insisted clergy must “model the church’s teaching”.

Fr Andrew branded the punitive action “shameful, foolish and wrong”, telling the Ham&High: “It’s very sad what they’ve done to Jeremy.

“It leaves me waiting to see what action my own bishop will take.

“My situation is a little different – I’m a freehold incumbent which in theory makes it harder for me to be removed from my post.

“But given what has come out of the House of Bishops condemning same-sex marriage, my bishop will have to take some sort of action – and I fully expect him to.

“I just don’t know what that will be. What else can I do but wait and see?

“In the end I just hope he sees my marriage as we do – as an act of love and as a promise in sickness and in health, for richer and for poorer.

“Stephen’s made an honest man out of me, and I’ve made an honest man out of him – the church should be celebrating marriages like these.”

The controversial new laws have caused a rift within the Church of England, an institution exempted from having to carry out same-sex marriage ceremonies.

The day after Fr Andrew announced his engagement to his atheist partner, a statement was released from the House of Bishops that laid out in no uncertain terms the church’s belief that marriage could only mean “a lifelong union between one man and one woman”.

Fr Andrew revealed he had already sought legal advice should he face being pushed from his post and appears to have the backing of many in his congregation.

Hundreds of parishioners are expected to attend a tea party he has organised to celebrate his marriage next weekend.

Bishops high up in the church have so far refused to comment on whether Fr Andrew’s place as a vicar in West Hampstead remains secure.

Latest Hampstead & Highgate News Stories

10:39

Hundreds of protesters battling plans to sell off council-owned homes and businesses have marched through the streets.

12:00

M&S have launched a food delivery service at their Camden high street store.

Friday, September 22, 2017

A “predatory” man who attacked and attempted to rape a woman at knifepoint in her own home has been jailed.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Poet William Blake, perhaps the most famous member of the Druid Order, wrote, “I have conversed with the spiritual sun. I saw him on Primrose Hill.”

Friday, September 22, 2017

A schoolboy and teacher are reported to have been injured when an intruder armed with a knife attacked pupils and staff at William Ellis School.

Friday, September 22, 2017

This week Varjak Paw author SF Said shares his views on the importance of dedicated children’s librarians.

Friday, September 22, 2017

The head of English at St Anthony’s School for Boys is a double champion after wining two gold medals at the European Masters Marathon Championships in Poland.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Robbers attacked the post office inside the Sherriff centre in West Hampstead yesterday.

PROMOTED CONTENT

If you are a pet owner, maybe you can empathise with this familiar tale.

Japanese baby and children’s clothing company Familiar is making their first venture into Europe with a pop up event in Hampstead

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read Hampstead & Highgate news

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now