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Over 1,000 Church of England clergy say they would conduct same-sex marriages, survey reveals

by Kelly Valencia
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At least 1,100 clergy have indicated they would conduct same-sex marriages should it become allowed in the Church of England, according to a survey. 

Carried out by the Campaign for Equal Marriage in the Church of England, the survey was launched at the beginning of September to compile a list of those favouring changing the Church of England's current stance on same-sex marriages. 

During this year's Lambeth Conference, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Most Rev Justin Welby, acknowledged there's a "plurality of views" within the Anglican Communion regarding the same-sex marriage issue, but admitted the Church only recognises a Christian marriage as between a man and a woman. 

Announcing the results, Nigel Pietroni, Chair of the Campaign, said: "It is clear from the feedback after Living in Love and Faith that the majority want the current situation to change and from the Archbishop's own comments that the need for change has been accepted." 

The group says the names of all signatories are being cross-checked against clergy databases and all personal details are being kept completely confidential. 

Only those licensed as clergy are being counted, and dioceses across the country are being represented in the survey, according to the group. 

The Campaign for Equal Marriage was among those groups meeting bishops at Lambeth Palace in September as part of the Living in Love and Faith process. 

Pietroni continued: "There can be no more delay. We look to the bishops to allow freedom of conscience for clergy who wish to bless same-sex couples, and for clergy married to their same-sex partners to serve in ministry. The bishops must give a clear message that marriage equality will follow."

Those opposing the change in the Church of England have also urged bishops not to change the Church's stance. John Dunnett, director of strategy and operations, The Church of England Evangelical Council has previously said the Church needs to "find a better way ahead - a settlement without theological compromise that is best for all."

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