Wangaratta Bishop John Parkes challenged over proposal to bless same-sex relationships

REJOICE: Anglican Bishop John Parkes wants to bless same-sex couples.
REJOICE: Anglican Bishop John Parkes wants to bless same-sex couples.

A group of Melbourne Anglicans have written an open letter to Wangaratta Bishop John Parkes asking him to not threaten the unity of the church by blessing same-sex relationships.

Bishop Parkes will put a proposal to the Synod of the Diocese of Wangaratta this month, asking them to approve the blessing of same-sex couples who have already been married.

He told The Border Mail this was to send a message to LGBTQIA people that "the church understands your journey and rejoices in your journey and wants you to exercise your faith in a church, which doesn't reject you out of hand".

But New Cranmer Society president Kimberly Smith said this goes against what the church agreed to nationally at its General Synod.

"We have urged the bishop and his synod not to proceed with this divisive course of action," he said.

"We recognise that the topic of marriage is a difficult one for our national church but there has been agreement amongst us to come to a decision together."

The letter stated blessing same-sex couples would be contrary to the teaching of the scriptures, which has been denied by Bishop Parkes after legal and theological advice.

Mr Smith described the proposal as a "liturgy" that would "be divisive to our national church".

"Out of concern for the truth of Christ, and in order to preserve the unity of the church, we plead with you in the name of Jesus Christ not to take this course, which would strain the fellowship between us to breaking point," he said in the letter.