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New Zealand's Anglican Church postpones gay marriage blessing decision

The Synod had been reviewing proposals to allow gay unions to be blessed in church made by the 'Way Forward' group.

Voters instead decided to postpone the decision until 2018 'with a firm expectation that a decision to move forward will be made' at that time.

A motion also agreed that the Church would establish a working group to "consider possible structural arrangements... to safeguard both theological convictions concerning the blessing of same gender relationships."

According to the Anglican Communion News Service the country's three Primates said in a statement: "We are aware of the considerable pain that this decision will cause to those most affected, but we are confident that our determination to work together across our differences will bring us to a place of dignity and justice for everyone."

Speaking to Anglican Taonga the Assistant Bishop of Auckland, Jim White said: "I am deeply disappointed by further delay on making our church fully inclusive".

Archdeacon of Nelson, Tim Mora said: "For conservatives the 'A Way Forward' report left us feeling unprotected in our theological position.

"The new working group needs to constantly come back to the conservatives, to be sure that the recommendations are acceptable to them, before they bring it back to the next General Synod."

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