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

RCMP search for Sparwood man wanted on numerous warrants

Twenty-nine-year-old John Garszczal is wanted by police

Elk Valley and South Country: Polls now open in Canada’s 2019 federal election

Which party will be chosen to form the next government?

LGBTQ novel talking point at Distillery Discussions

Distillery Discussions is the second time Fernie Pride has hosted LGBTQ authors.

Warning issued after several overdoses in Castlegar

Interior Health says the overdoses appear to be the result of cocaine contaminated with fentanyl.

Young man and elderly woman located by Fernie Search and Rescue

The pair had left Fernie to recover a vehicle that had run out of gas towards the Flathead

Second young woman dies after rollover crash near Williams Lake

‘Someone’s going to get her heart, which is awesome, because she has the best heart in the world’

Google searches for ‘how to vote’ surge on Election Day

Interest spikes despite social media campaign by Elections Canada

Alberta man pleads guilty, fined for hunting without a licence in North Island

It’s the responsibility of each hunter or angler to know whether they are considered a B.C. Resident.

B.C. mayor apologizes for removal of Queen’s portrait from council chambers

‘I prefer to be inclusive of the many aspects of our history’

Alcohol a possible factor in crash that killed 17-year-old girl near Williams Lake

A pickup truck left the road and rolled over on Highway 20 on the weekend

Rare bird spotted in Victoria draws enthusiasts from across the continent

It’s the first time a yellow-browed warbler has been reported on the mainland of North America

B.C. woman must pay $1,000 after unleashed dog bites another

Owner should never have left Bibi unattended, tribunal member wrote

Most Read