Scottish Episcopal Church could be first in UK to conduct same-sex weddings

The Scottish Episcopal Church is set to become the first church in the UK to allow its clergy to conduct same-sex church weddings, The Times reports.

Scotland’s third-largest church will take a vote on its position on Thursday 9 June.

Members will be asked to change a section of church law defining marriage as a “physical, spiritual and mystical union of one man and one woman”.

According to church documents, the change “would potentially allow the marriage of same-gendered couples in church in late 2017”, in line with same-sex marriage legislation passed in 2014.

The Most Rev David Chillingworth, Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church, told The Times: “This is a legislative democratic process, so it is not really for me to say that it will happen, but I think that the proposal would not be put unless there was a reasonable chance that it would be approved.

“The change may be approved, but there will be people who will find that really difficult so my focus is on the unity in the church.”

He added: “Clearly there are people within our church who would would find that change very difficult to live with.

“It then becomes the task for people like me, and other bishops, to sustain the unity of the church and that means honouring the people who don’t agree and making sure that the church has space for them.”