Some of those with whom I am in relationship have brought their own inimitable style to the CofE's report. I was rather taken with one person's view as outlined in a radio interview when they pointed out that, "Marriage is not a consumer item. . . . it is the recognition of something physical, moral, mental and spiritual." I wondered if I had heard it wrong as there appeared to be some form of substance and a lack of the usual 'via media, let's agree to differ' fudge.
Visiting my Facebook page I found one of my friends describe the report thus:
"News Today: Widespread Shock as Church of England publicly upholds Scripture & Tradition and is seen to Stand For Something. In other news: Bears' toilet found in wooded area; Pope seen attending Mass."
"Not sure how I feel about wearing the collar today..."
Whist another wrote:
"If the Church of England continues to shoot itself in the foot, it's only a matter of time before it won't have a leg to stand on"
I have to admit that I too think that the government's consultation on the issue was indeed extremely shallow. Could it be that the decision had been taken and all that remained was to 'listen' before they acted (something often found in both politics and Church issues).
I also have to be honest and say that I too thought that any right to 'opt out' of doing such a service in a church setting would soon be challenged and would probably fall when it got to the Court of Human Rights because after all - everything is our right these days, even if it (morally, legally or Biblically) isn't!
I need to read the report (I have downloaded it - get yours here) before I get into making my own assessments. And for those who want to merely engage in kneejerk responses because of their own position - well you'd do that anyway so no problem (or sadly change) there I guess.
But regardless of your position, it appears that the Church has drawn a line and made 'No' mean 'No' and this for me is a positive element to the day (especially when one realises just how many of our regular armed forces personnel will be finding they have been made redundant today - not a lot to cheer about!).
Please pray for the church, the Church and our serving Sailors, Soldiers and Airmen today.