Lib Dem Mathew Hulbert says Church of England giving in to its conservatives on same sex marriage

Lib Dem Councillor Mathew Hulbert has been taking to the airwaves to criticise the Church of England and the Archbishop of Canterbury for giving into the Conservative side of the Anglican Communion. Yesterday, the Church announced that, while it would not allow same sex marriages in Church, they would allow blessings. However, Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby said that he personally would not conduct them. He said:

But because of my pastoral care and responsibility of being a focus of unity for the whole communion I will – while being extremely joyfully celebratory of these new resources – I will not personally use them in order to compromise that pastoral care

The Church is also apologising for not being inclusive to LGBT+ people in the past.

Yesterday, Mathew tweeted:

This led to a few requests for interviews.

Here’s a brief clip from his Talk TV appearance.

Matnew was also featured in the BBC’s main story on the coverage.

Gay Anglican Mathew Hulbert told the BBC he felt “great disappointment” over the bishops’ decision not to propose same-sex marriage to the General Synod and is considering leaving the Church of England.

“Like anyone else if I wanted to get married, I’d want to get married in my church,” said the 42-year-old from Leicestershire. “Lots of gay people and perhaps lots of young gay Christians will think, ‘do I have to choose?'”

Mr Hulbert, who has been a practising Christian since childhood, also took issue with the Archbishop of Canterbury stating he would not perform blessings for same-sex couples, if the proposal is passed. The charity worker believes it sends a signal to other churches they don’t have to offer blessings, and thinks the Church of England needs to choose between its conservative and liberal elements.

He added: “The Church shouldn’t just tolerate us, it should celebrate us. LGBT+ people are made in the image of God as anyone else, and we feel like we’re being demonised just for being who we are and who we love.”

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  • Mel Borthwaite 21st Jan '23 - 3:20pm

    This is a very difficult issue. Those who believe that the Church should continue to base its teachings and practice on the Bible (so called conservative Christians) feel they can not go against Biblical teachings that same-sex sexual activity is sinful, and the 2010 Equality Act protects the right of these Conservative Christians to not be discriminated against on the grounds of their religious beliefs. I don’t understand why Liberal Christians want to remain members of churches whose teachings they reject but it appears many do.

  • Once again we have evidence of the Church of England harming individuals and doing Christianity no favours with its sexual obsessions. As a Methodist minister I enjoyed working with many Anglican clergy and lay officers. It has some real strengths such as sustaining vicars and congregations on former council estates when others have quit the field. But nothing short of disestablishment will stop it shooting itself in the foot as in the tortuous announcements of this week,

  • Laurence Cox 22nd Jan '23 - 1:28pm

    Churches are always prone to schism, whether for political reasons as when King Henry VIII made himself head of the Church of England in the split from Roman Catholicism, or for theological reasons as when John Wesley split from the CofE and founded the Methodist Church (and even that church split at its beginning into Calvinist (George Whitefield) and Arminian (John Wesley) strands). I would have liked to have seen more empathy from Matthew Hulbert for Justin Welby’s position. While Welby may well wish to be able to bless gay marriages as the senior cleric in the Church of England; as the notional Head of the Anglican Communion he has to be aware of the dangers of schism in the Communion posed by the African churches, who will certainly not accept gay marriage in church now. Better to move forward slowly; it took a generation to move from the first women priests to Sarah Mullally as the first woman Bishop of London; than to force the issue and bring about yet another schism. My (female) vicar read the Bishops’ statement in church this morning and while I would have liked it to go further than it did; being able to bless civil same-sex marriages and for clergy to marry same-sex partners (even in a civil marriage) and have sex in a same-sex relationship is a significant advance that does not deserve to be trashed.

  • Nigel Jones 22nd Jan '23 - 4:46pm

    I am inclined to agree with Laurence about care in moving forward; as former Archbishop Rowan Williams said in Rieth Lecture before Christmas, some Anglican churches around the world already do gay marriage and the trend is progressive. I am also pleased that Matthew is still in the Anglican church to keep up that influence. It seems to me that often when people of certain views leave an organisation rather than fight on, then something good is lost. Did not this happen to the Lib-Dems when certain people left us because of the coalition ?
    I like the Methodist and Baptist approach of allowing each congregation to make its own decision and after two discussions, the church I go to voted to accept gay marriage.

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