Brighton pastor speaks out against ‘ignorant’ and ‘prejudiced’ Church of England civil partnerships statement

A Brighton LGBTQ+ pastor has spoken out against the Church of England’s statement regarding same-sex and opposite-sex civil partnerships.

Tuesday, 25th February 2020, 10:29 am
Reverend Michael Hydes, senior pastor at The Village Metropolitan Community Church (MCC), Brighton

The Rev Michael Hydes, a senior pastor at The Village Metropolitan Community Church (MCC), said the statement showed ‘ignorance’ and ‘prejudice’.

The House of Bishops, which meets to discuss national issues affecting the Church, released a statement following a legislative change to allow opposite-sex couples to enter into civil partnerships; which had previously only been an option for same-sex couples.

In the statement, The House of Bishops reaffirmed its belief that same-sex civil partnerships should not be blessed by the church and also issued guidance not to bless opposite-sex civil partnerships either.

Rev Hydes said the issue was tackled during Sunday worship prayers in January.

Referencing the Church’s approach, he said: “Forgive them for their ignorance and prejudice. Help them to see where your love is at work instead of trying to force you into a box of their own making.”

The House of Bishops statement said that civil partnerships ‘do not reflect the teaching of the church’, as marriage is believed to do.

Rev Hydes said: “Surely, just as marriage evolved over the 1,000 or so years that scripture was written, it has evolved in the 2,000 years or so since then?

“Or do we think that God is no longer at work in the world, in our lives, and in our relationships?”

“Look around you at same-sex couples, and non-married couples, and tell me that you can’t see God’s wonderful and powerful love at work there.”

The Village MCC is a Brighton church founded by LGBTQ+ Christians, their friends and their families to support the Brighton and Hove LGBTQ+ community – one of the largest in the UK.

Regular worship takes place at the church, in St James’ St, every Sunday from 6pm where all are welcome to attend regardless of their sexual or gender identity.

New members are welcomed by the church and more information can be found on its website.

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