England: Large Anglican church to stop payments to Diocese in split over LGBT blessing ceremonies
(Worthy News) – A large Anglican church in Oxford, UK has announced it will stop making payments to its Church of England diocese because the denomination’s General Synod voted last month to allow clergy to perform blessings for same-sex marriages, Christian Today reports. In its announcement, the St Ebbe’s church in Oxford, England, said its communion with the Oxford diocese bishops was fractured over the partial acceptance of LGBT marriages. Accordingly, the church will be diverting payments to a trust fund instead.
In a February 10 statement made a day after the General Synod voted to allow blessing ceremonies for same-sex couples, St Ebbe’s Rector, Canon Vaughan Roberts, first explained that: “St Ebbe’s clergy have already declared that we are in impaired communion with the bishops in our diocese, which means that we will not welcome them to preach, confirm, ordain or conduct our ministerial reviews, and we will not take communion with them.”
Accordingly, Mr. Roberts said, “[St Ebbe’s church council has] taken action to ensure that any money we pay within the diocese is distributed via the Oxford Good Stewards Trust and is only used for faithful gospel ministry and essential administrative costs.”
In a separate statement, Ebbe’s operations minister Rev Tim Dossor added: “St Ebbe’s PCC [church council] is currently scrutinizing the Oxford Diocese budget with considerable care. When this period of scrutiny is completed, the PCC will make a grant to the OGST Oxford Diocese Fund that covers the ministry costs of St Ebbe’s and the many faithful support activities of the Oxford Diocese.”
For the time being, the Rector and Curate stipends will continue to be paid by the Diocese/Church of England, Mr. Dossor said.
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