Families and relationships
The Scriptures show us how God reveals himself in and through all kinds of human relationships – those between friends, husbands and wives, sisters and brothers, parents and children. We are helped by him to love and care for one another, and we learn more about him through those experiences. When relationships fail, and we are hurt, we can find him in giving and receiving forgiveness and the hope of a fresh start.
Parents and children
God loves us unconditionally, as a mother or father loves his or her own children. Parents are specially placed to help their children grow in the love of God, and the church tries to support them in all sorts of ways- through parent and toddler groups, Sunday schools, Mothers’ Union etc.
We also invite people to bring their children to be baptised or christened – to be made members of the family of Christ.
God not only loves us, but he promises he will always love us. Marriage is meant to be a reflection of that and is based on promises between a man and a woman – of lifelong commitment in love and faithfulness.
Whilst passionately believing in this kind of relationship the Church in Wales also realises that marriages do break down and does offer the possibility of a second marriage in church under certain circumstances and at the discretion of the parish priest.
All human beings are created in God’s image, irrespective of their sexuality.
The Church in Wales recognises that people of integrity inside and outside it hold a wide range of views on the subject of homosexual practice.
Some would examine the Scriptures and the traditional teaching of the Church and conclude that homosexual practice is to be rejected. For them heterosexual marriage or celibacy are the only true choices for Christians. Others would interpret scripture and tradition differently, and see committed same-sex relationships as mutually supportive, loving and creative.
As far as Civil Partnerships are concerned, the Bench of Bishops has stated that it ‘cannot nor would not want to prevent what the law allows for church members’. Civil partnerships are a civil ceremony and, as such, there is no liturgical provision for the blessing of such partnerships to take place in a church building.
Within the Anglican Communion, we have made a commitment to listen to people whose sexual orientation may be different from our own, and to live, worship and work together as disciples of Christ. Gay people have a full part to play in the life of parishes across Wales.