Christian Concern: Hospital chaplain was ‘acting provocatively’ by marrying same-sex partner

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A Christian group has claimed that a gay hospital chaplain acted “provocatively and unrepentantly” by marrying his same-sex partner.

Hospital chaplain Jeremy Pemberton, 58, was the first member of the Church of England clergy to enter into a same-sex marriage in April, when he wed his partner Laurence Cunnington in defiance of a ban.

He later had his permission to officiate revoked by the Bishop of Southwell and Nottingham, meaning he was unable to take up a new job with the NHS in Nottinghamshire.

Earlier this month, he confirmed that the NHS had since retracted the job offer, as a result of the Church’s action.

Christian Concern have defended the action, claiming that Canon Pemberton was being deliberately provocative by marrying his partner.

Andrew Marsh of Christian Concern said: “Sadly Canon Pemberton has acted provocatively and unrepentantly.

“God is clear, the Bible is clear, the teaching of the Church of England is clear and the Bishops’ pastoral guidance is clear that entering a same-sex ‘marriage’ is incompatible with being a minister of the Church of England.

“The Bishop of Southwell and Nottingham is right to have taken action and Mr Pemberton surely cannot have expected that he could act in this deliberate way without consequence.”