Church of England banishes gay preacher for getting married

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

A Church of England preacher has left the church as he is not allowed to officiate once his planned same-sex marriage goes ahead.

Jeremy Timm, of the Howden Team Ministry, took part in his final service at Howden Minster, East Yorkshire today (September 20).

In August, he said he had been forced to “choose between marriage or ministry” when he and his partner Mike were making a decision whether to convert their civil partnership to a marriage.

The lay preacher said he had been told he would have his licence to preach, or Permission to Officiate (PTO), revoked, if he went through with the conversion, according to Archbishop of York Dr John Sentamu.

Despite the threat, he has confirmed the marriage will go ahead as planned on Thursday, and lefr the church, reports the BBC.

Speaking last month, Mr Timms said he had been “living with an ultimatum” since he met with Dr Sentamu.

“I was told that although my ministry was much valued, if we change our status to being married then my PTO would be withdrawn with immediate effect,” he said.

“I was faced with choosing between marriage or ministry.

“This has caused tears and soul searching, but at the weekend Mike and I had a trip to Leeds and chose two new rings to mark this new milestone in our lives together.

“I have written to the Archbishop, and informed him of our intentions, and he will withdraw my PTO, and my ministry as a reader will come to an abrupt end.”

A statement from the archbishop said he would not be commenting publicly on the matter – opting instead to communicate privately with Mr Timm.

As Mr Timm announced his intentions to marry his partner and leave the church, his congregation reacted with cheers and applause.

Going on, he said he would continue to preach outside the Church.

“I have always replied that my journey has been rooted and steeped in the Anglican tradition which is my tradition and I wanted to remain there, despite the injustice and hypocrisy I see for LGBTI folk.

“Now, I stand on the threshold of leaving, and joining the ranks of all those who feel they no longer have a place in the church,” he continued.