Gay blessings to be offered at Canterbury Cathedral

Same-sex couples already in civil partnerships[1] or civil marriages, or who have sealed a covenanted friendship, can now be offered Prayers of Love and Faith at Canterbury Cathedral, following a unanimous decision by the Dean and governing Chapter. This step has already been taken by many churches and cathedrals.

These prayers will be offered within regular services of public worship for same-sex couples who love one another and who wish to give thanks for and mark that love in faith before God, and who are part of the Cathedral community. Those eligible to ask for these prayers include our regular congregations, those living in Cathedral properties adjacent to the Cathedral, and those with a strong pastoral connection to the Cathedral community from amongst our staff, clergy, and volunteers.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, The Most Revd Justin Welby, and the Bishop of Dover, The Rt Revd Rose Hudson-Wilkin, who have no direct role in the Governance of the Cathedral, were consulted, following the guidance commended by the Bishops of the Church of England in December 2023.

It is not currently possible to hold stand-alone services of blessing, same-sex weddings, or civil partnerships.

[1] A civil partnership is a legal relationship which can be registered by two people who aren’t related to each other. Civil partnerships are available to both same-sex couples and opposite-sex couples (see Citizens Advice website)

FAQs

Why is Canterbury Cathedral offering Prayers of Love and Faith?

On 12th December 2023, the Church of England’s House of Bishops commended the Prayers of Love and Faith and associated pastoral guidance for use in regular public worship services with effect from Sunday 17th December 2023. Since this decision, Canterbury Cathedral has – like every other Church of England cathedral and church – been free to choose whether or not to offer Prayers of Love and Faith.

Following discussion, Canterbury Cathedral’s Dean and governing Chapter decided unanimously to offer Prayers of Love and Faith.

How can I enquire about Prayers of Love and Faith at Canterbury Cathedral?

Couples who are part of the Cathedral community and who are interested in being offered Prayers of Love and Faith at Canterbury Cathedral can enquire by emailing occasionaloffices@canterbury-cathedral.org

At which services can Prayers of Love and Faith be offered?

These prayers can be offered within the Cathedral’s regular services of public worship on Sundays or weekdays.

Which Prayers of Love and Faith will be used?

The Prayers of Love and Faith resources offer a number of prayers that can be used. The couple, in discussion with a member of our clergy, will decide which of these they would like to be offered.

Can opposite-sex couples be offered Prayers of Love and Faith at Canterbury Cathedral?

The Prayers of Love and Faith were designed specifically for same-sex couples, for whom no other provision is currently made, however, if an opposite-sex couple who are part of our Cathedral community are interested in being offered Prayers of Love and Faith, our clergy will be happy to discuss this with them.

Leave a Reply