'Historic' decision reached at Birmingham Methodist Conference
The Methodist Church has reached a decision at its 2021 Birmingham Conference to allow same sex marriage in Methodist churches.
This follows a period of grass-roots consultation in churches, circuits, and districts across the nation.
The recommendations that were agreed came from the 2019 report entitled 'God in love unites us'. The conference that year deferred a final vote to allow further consultation to take place.
After what has been described as an 'historic' decision, the Methodist Church will be producing guidance for all local churches to enable them to offer same sex marriage ceremonies on their premises. This will involve registration and it is expected that the first same-sex marriages will occur in the autumn.
The Conference also affirmed that the commitment of unmarried cohabiting couples should be accepted and celebrated.
The Methodist Church joins several other Christian denominations in Britain to take this step. In a letter to congregations across the Derbyshire North East Circuit, Superintendent Minister Revd Sean Adair said:
"The decision is the culmination of nearly three decades of prayerful and careful reflection on this aspect of our humanity, but we have always recognised that since we approach such matters from differing perspectives, universal agreement was not going to happen.....Yet, although we continue to hold to our contradictory convictions, we also hold one another in love. The greatest witness we can show to our world just now is our ability to be a people who disagree with one another and yet continue to love one another and walk together. In this way Christ will be honoured."
You can read the full version of the letter to congregations here.
More information on the Methodist Conference is on the Methodist Website.