Victoria’s largest Anglican church moves toward equality

Same-sex union blessings are a step in right direction, parishioners say

Kit Pearson

Better late than never.

The congregation at Victoria’s Christ Church Cathedral voted overwhelmingly last week to allow same-sex blessings in the church, more than a decade after Vancouver-area Anglican churches did the same.

“The Anglican church has been talking about this for more than 30 years,” Rev. Logan McMenamie says.

“In some ways it’s disabled us, but it’s an important decision. It’s really a justice issue.”

The 148-14 vote in favour of the blessings means gay couples can now hold such ceremonies inside Christ Church Cathedral, although McMenamie still cannot conduct the legal portion of same-sex ceremonies.

“The vote was a formal recognition that we are welcome and we are equal,” says parish member Kit Pearson, who along with her partner, Katherine Farris, has been attending the church for five years.

“Of course, it’s not absolutely equal because we can’t get married. … It’s just a step along the way.”

Pearson, 66, says she and Farris have never experienced prejudice under the cathedral’s roof.

They have chosen to remain a part of the Anglican church despite its delayed embrace of homosexual equality.

“I think a church, like any other institution, is run by humans, and humans have many faults,” she says. “You could be married in the hall by a justice of the peace, then go into the church and have your marriage blessed, which is a little ridiculous.”

McMenamie laments the parish members he has lost because of the slow changes, but said more progress will be made at upcoming diocese gatherings.

“We’re now one of six dioceses in Canada that permits same-sex blessings,” he says.

James Cowan, the outgoing bishop of the Anglican Diocese of B.C., formally authorized same-sex blessings in January.

Cowan oversees parishes on southern Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands, while the Anglican diocese for Vancouver-area parishes was the first in Canada to allow same-sex blessings in 2002.

“I think it’s a very good thing for the church,” McMenamie said. “We want to stay together, learn together, grow together.”

dpalmer@vicnews.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Saanich Peninsula Hospital Auxiliary hosts pop-up fundraiser in Sidney

Temporary store to feature unique hand made gifts, collectibles, clothing, books and more

PHOTOS: Small crowd gathers to watch 231-tonne stacker-reclaimer load onto barge crane

The Dynamic Beast barge crane, known for work with Johnson Street Bridge, makes a return

National Drug Drop-Off month aims to reduce substance abuse by house-bound youth

Expert says there is misconception prescribed medication is safe to take

Victoria mayor wants newspaper boxes removed from downtown streets

Mayor Lisa Helps says the boxes are not needed, often filled with garbage

Esquimalt artists take to great outdoors amid coronavirus

Group invites budding, or just willing artists, to join at Saxe Point

Crews work overnight to try to put out wildfire on Pender Island

Fire department and B.C. Wildfire Service crews extinguishing fire in ‘extremely difficult terrain’

Crews work overnight to try to put out wildfire on Pender Island

Fire department and B.C. Wildfire Service crews extinguishing fire in ‘extremely difficult terrain’

Michael Buble among 13 British Columbians to receive Order of B.C.

Ceremony will be delayed to 2021 due to COVID-19

U.S. border communities feel loss of Canadian tourists, shoppers and friends

Restrictions on non-essential travel across the Canada-U.S. border have been in place since March 2`

Rollout of COVID-19 Alert app faces criticism over accessibility

App requires users to have Apple or Android phones made in the last five years, and a relatively new operating system

Alleged impaired driver sparks small wildfire near Lytton after crash: B.C. RCMP

Good Samaritans prevented the blaze from getting out of control

B.C. First Nation adopts ‘digital twinning’ software to better manage territory

Software allows users to visualize what a mountain might look like if the trees on its slopes were logged

Most Read