Marriage of Same-Sex Couples: Legal Issues and Pastoral Care

December 14, 2014

The College of Bishops has had issued in its behalf, a set of guidelines relating to the immanent change to marriage law in Scotland. This change in the law will enable people of the same gender to marry  and to have equal status as those who marry people of the opposite gender.

These guidelines are intended to establish the present legal situation that in which we now find ourselves, especially for those who minister or wish to minister in the Scottish Episcopal Church. The guidelines address the Canonical position and the difficulties that could be created  for those who are asked to assent to the Canons but who also wish to be married to a same sex partner.

The guidelines also request that someone who is ministering in the church or who is seeking ordination, should speak to their Bishop. As a diocesan Bishop I am called by the church to a number of tasks, one is to uphold the doctrines and traditions of the church but I am also called to “serve the priests and deacons who share in the bishop’s responsibility to nurture the community of the baptised”. I would therefore at all times seek to enable ministry and to discern where the Holy Spirit may be leading us, that requires a pastoral approach to those who come seeking a way to honour both their ministry and their love for another.

Please be assured in Moray , Ross and Caithness that your bishop will listen and will try to walk alongside those who minister with him as they seek to be true to themselves.

I was asked at my Ordination.

“Will you, in all your dealings with others, in the life of the Church and in your home, seek to show an example of obedience to the way of Christ?” The answer is still, By the help of God, I will.




12 December 2014