There’s nothing like waking up to find that the Church of England thinks your desired marriage to your beloved partner of 22 years would bring about the disestablishment of the Church of England.
In actual tears that such ignorance and bigotry provokes, I have to wonder what the Church of England does want from us?
To support its place as the church of state but not to question that place.
To forget how it became the church of state (Henry VIII’s divorce anyone?).
To keep paying our taxes that support its (and other faith) schools, but not to request that those faiths are tolerant of our diversity.
To applaud it for finally ‘allowing’ women priests, but not to support those women priests who would want to become bishops – despite the high-’ranking’ women in early church history, despite the desire of many women (and men) for this, despite the simple equality such a change for women priests would indicate.
To allow the odd mix that has the monarch of our state to also hold the position as the head of its church.
To allow its bishops into our House of Lords to make laws that govern us all.
To allow its high-ranking members to make pronouncements as to the good (or otherwise) of pretty much everything from education to health to what we ought to be reading.
I did not vote for anyone in the Church of England, its place as the established church however, allows it to make the pronouncements it has today and for those pronouncements to carry legal weight.
In a month at Gladstone’s Library I had the pleasure of meeting several generous, thinking, aware, kind and seriously faithful members of CofE clergy. One of them, a priest for many many years, asked me “how can I support gay marriage without losing my job?” – I KNOW this view promoted today is not the view of all CofE clergy, or all CofE faithful. It might be time for those people to speak a little louder. There IS dialogue to be had here and I very much want it, not least because I am desperately tired of the hurt of living with an inequality forced on me by others and of feeling slapped down at every hopeful turn.