Bishop and Archdeacon back gay priest in commitment ceremony row

PinkNews logo on a pink background surrounded by illustrated line drawings of a rainbow, pride flag, unicorn and more.

The Archdeacon of Loughborough and Bishop of Leicester have given their backing to a priest who is holding his same-sex commitment ceremony in a church.

Reverend Dominic McClean, who has already entered into a civil partnership with his partner, is currently facing backlash over plans to hold a ‘thanksgiving’ ceremony in St Peter’s Church in Market Bosworth.

Some parishioners have objected to the church being used, claiming that it contravenes a Church of England ban on same-sex blessings and weddings.

However, both the Archdeacon and the Bishop have spoken out to defend the ceremony, dismissing claims that it violates Church rules.

Archdeacon David Newman told the Leicester Mercury: “This is not a gay marriage and this is not a blessing of a gay marriage.

“The Church of England gets involved in services of thanksgiving with regard to many areas of life.

“This is a service of thanksgiving for the committed relationship between two people. It is entirely appropriate for this to happen.”

A spokesperson for the Bishop Tim Stevens added: “It is not a matter for the Bishop. It is a parish issue. the service does not contravene any Church of England rules.”

Aubrey Chalmers of Shackerstone, who complained about the ceremony, said previously: !This ceremony amounts to a gay wedding and should not be being carried out at this church.

1As far as I am concerned, and there a lot of fellow parishioners in this benefice who agree with me, this flies in the face of the official policy of the Church of England who do not bless gay marriages.

!This should not be allowed to happen in this church. It is not right and parishioners are staying away from churches in the benefice because of this.”