Anglican Church will bless same-sex relationships

The Church held a vote on Wednesday.
The Church held a vote on Wednesday. Photo credit: Supplied

The Anglican Church has voted in favour of blessing couples in committed same-sex relationships.

It will allow priests to bless same-sex civil marriage or civil unions, but not to carry out same-sex marriage in the Anglican church.

The Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia's governing body passed the motion by a clear majority in New Plymouth on Wednesday.

While the Tikanga Pasifika arm of the church had said that it was against the blessing of "same-gender relationships", it didn't vote against the motion as it didn't want to hinder the Tikanga Māori and Tikanga Pākehā partners in the church.

The motion provides protection for theological convictions held by bishops, priests and parishes, and won't see any changes to the church's doctrine or its formularies around marriage.

Anglican priest and blogger Peter Carrell says there will be Anglicans who are "unhappy with the decision".

"There will be Anglicans who wish to stay in our church and wonder if they can live with this decision: to you I make this observation: there will not be one canonical change which requires you to do anything differently to what you are currently doing or to believe anything differently to what you currently believe."

The Synod's vote accepts the report and recommendations of the church's so-called Motion 29 small working group.

It was set up in 2016 to work out how the church would approach "the blessing of same-gender relationships".