London: Church parish to protest at ‘harmful’ gay blessing ban

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

A vicar in north London is challenging the Church of England’s decision to ban clergy from blessing same-sex couples.

James Mustard, the rector of St Mary’s Church in east Barnet, said his parish intends to lodge a complaint.

Earlier this month, the House of Bishops confirmed it would not be changing its doctrine and that it will also continue to oppose equal marriage.

Times Series reports the vicar said: “The feeling is that this ongoing prohibition on blessing same-sex couples is harmful to our relationship with the community, whether they come to the church or not.

“I think it is important that churches in favour of supporting same-sex couples with blessings should speak out, and we’re preparing to issue a statement opposing the House of Bishops’ decision.”

The parish will write a formal letter once its members have met later this month.

It is a supporting member of Inclusive Church, an organisation campaigning for the acceptance of LGBT Christians.