A large Anglican church in Oxford will stop making payments to its Church of England diocese whose bishops support same sex marriages.
St. Ebbe’s church says its communion with the diocese bishops was impaired over the bishops partial acceptance of LGBT marriages.
In November, the Bishop of Oxford, Steven Croft, became the most senior Anglican bishop to come out in favour of same sex weddings in parish churches.
He was publicly supported by three other bishops in the Oxford diocese which is one of the wealthiest in the Church of England.
Last month, its General Synod voted to allow clergy to perform blessings for same sex marriages.
However, it did not allow same sex weddings in its churches with the Church’s doctrine of marriage – that it is between a man and a woman – remaining unchanged.
St. Ebbe’s Rector, Canon Vaughan Roberts, said the bishops will no longer be invited to preach, confirm, ordain, conduct ministerial reviews or take communion with its members who include hundreds of Oxford University students.
He said the St Ebbe’s Parochial Church Council (PCC) has “taken action to ensure that any money we pay within the diocese is distributed via the Oxford Good Stewards Trust (OGST) and is only used for faithful gospel ministry and essential administrative costs”.
St Ebbe’s operations minister, Reverend Tim Dossor, explained: “Donations into the OGST Oxford Diocese Fund are granted to the Diocese on a monthly basis. St Ebbe’s PCC is currently scrutinising the Oxford Diocese budget with considerable care. When this period of scrutiny is completed, the PCC will make a grant to the trust fund that covers the ministry costs of St Ebbe’s and the many faithful support activities of the Oxford Diocese.”
“The PCC will grant any remainder in the trust fund to support ministries which uphold the Church’s traditional teaching on marriage.”
“For the present both the Rector and Curate stipends are paid for by the Diocese/Church of England“.
Two large Anglican evangelical churches in London also opposed to same sex blessings, St Helen’s Bishopsgate and All Souls Langham Place, have announced they are “pausing” payments to their diocese.