Churches to shun gay marriage in spite of MP vote?

23/7/10'Jenny Hill, new vicar of St. Mary's Church, Hemel Hempstead.
23/7/10'Jenny Hill, new vicar of St. Mary's Church, Hemel Hempstead.

The majority of churches will not be offering same sex couples the chance to marry, despite MPs voting to change the law on gay marriage at the House of Commons last week.

MPs voted in favour of the Marriage Bill by 400 to 175 and the legislation will now receive more detailed parliamentary scrutiny. If passed, it make it legal for same-sex couples to get married in both civil and religious ceremonies.

Religious bodies such as the Church of England and the Methodist Church have, however, stated that they will not be changing their stance on gay marriage, and same sex couples not be permitted to wed in these venues.

The Rev Jenny Hill, of St Mary’s parish church in Hemel Hempstead has stated her support for gay couples despite the stance of her church.

“We at St Mary’s have a liberal approach and we are very supportive of the long term relationships that gay people want to enter into,” she said.

“The love of God is not the monopoly of those who are in heterosexual relationships!”

The Rev Rachael Hawkins, of St Martha’s Methodist Church in Tring, said that she could only pass on the message of the Methodist Church as a whole, while Father Michael Bowie of St Peter’s Church in Berkhamsted has previously spoken of his support for gay marriage.