Same-gender weddings can now happen in Nelson’s St. Saviour’s (seen here) as well as at Anglican churches in Kaslo and Balfour. File photo

Same-gender weddings can now happen in Nelson’s St. Saviour’s (seen here) as well as at Anglican churches in Kaslo and Balfour. File photo

Anglican churches in Nelson, Balfour, Kaslo to marry same-gender couples

Rev. Jeff Donnelly says he’d love to host LGBTQ weddings

The reverend of three local Anglican churches says he’s received permission to authorize same-gender marriages despite the failure of a vote last month that would have amended marriage canon in Canada.

Rev. Jeff Donnelly, the parish pastor of St. Saviour’s in Nelson, St. Mark’s in Kaslo and St. Michael and All Angels in Balfour, says he has been given the green light to marry same-gender couples by Rev. Dr. Lynne McNaughton, who is the Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Kootenay.

Donnelly said his churches had already been symbolically blessing, if not authorizing, same-gender marriages since 2016.

“There’s been really overwhelming support, pretty much unanimous that we want to support it,” he said.

The national vote at the July 12 General Synod required a two-thirds majority from the three houses of the Anglican Church to pass. Despite receiving 81 per cent approval from the House of Laity, 72 per cent from the House of Priests and 62 per cent from the House of Bishops, the vote failed because the latter house was just short of the required votes.

The result, Donnelly said, has led to anger and the misconception that the Anglican Church does not support same-gender marriages.

“We basically said as a church that that is acceptable, that is OK. But those who choose not to, we will respect their teaching, their view as well.”

Related:

Kootenay Anglican bishop voices favour for same-gender marriages

Kootenay Anglican bishops, priests grapple with same-sex marriage vote

The three churches are able to hold same-gender marriages because of a local option made available to bishops who can authorize the weddings within their diocese. McNaughton has previously said she will give permission to any requests from parishes within the Diocese of Kootenay, which includes churches in the Kootenays and Okanagan.

The decision to add same-gender marriage, Donnelly said, keeps the churches in step with the community they serve.

“This is a very progressive church on many, many issues. The Anglican church in the Diocese of the Kootenay is also very progressive on many social issues, a lot of them are social justice issues. This is just a natural extension of who the people here are.”

Donnelly has been parish pastor of the three local churches since 2015. He was in attendance at the General Synod in Vancouver for the July 12 vote and believes the proposed amendment would have passed if three bishops who were absent with medical issues had been able to vote.

“It really highlighted this way of doing things doesn’t work,” said Donnelly. “It’s a very old, convoluted way of doing governance in the church, and basically it’s helped us to recognize that we need to change this. It didn’t work. It’s a broken system as far as we’re concerned.”

Regardless of the vote, people who identify as LGBTQ can be married in local Anglican churches. The only pre-requisite is one person has to be a baptized Christian, although Donnelly said that’s not necessarily a hard rule.

Donnelly has never officiated a same-gender wedding, but said he’d love to see it happen at one of his churches.

“I would be really delighted if we did.”



tyler.harper@nelsonstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

“This is very costly to replace and it seems that Rossland is getting more and more theft and vandalism happening, which is really unfortunate,” says the commission’s Michelle Fairbanks. Photo: Submitted
Two plaques stolen from Rossland heritage square

The plaques were located at Washington and Columbia by the Olaus statue

Protestors blocking Columbia Avenue Saturday evening. Photo: Betsy Kline
Old growth protesters begin 24-hour blockade of Castlegar’s main street

Members of Extinction Rebellion plan to stay overnight

Forty sled dogs were seized by the BC SPCA from a Salmo kennel in February. A recent ruling has decided the dogs won’t be returned. Photo: Gounsil/Flickr
BC Farm Industry Review Board rules against Salmo kennel after 40 sled dogs seized

Spirit of the North Kennels was also ordered to pay BC SPCA $64,000

Residents line up outside the Vernon Recreation Complex for their COVID-19 vaccine Saturday, June 5. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
No appointments necessary for first dose COVID-19 vaccine: Interior Health

People can just show up at clinics, register on the spot and get the shot

Image: Castleview Care Centre’s Safety Den presentation
Castlegar’s Castleview Care Centre wins safety innovation competition

The Dragon’s Den-style competition was sponsored by Safecare BC

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Premier John Horgan speaks as provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, right, and health minister Adrian Dix look on during a press conference to update on the province’s fall pandemic preparedness plan during a press conference from the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials to provide details on Step 2 of COVID reopening plan Monday

Step 2 could allow for larger gatherings and a resumption of recreational travel

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

Most Read