Last year General Synod (Motion 7) agreed to the blessing of same sex relationships. Within this motion, and the resulting Canon XXXVIII, provision was made for ministry units and individuals to form themselves into “Christian Communities”.
So far, in our diocese, only the Parish of Sumner-Redcliffs has voted at a special General Meeting (Thurs 8 Aug) to join the AFFIRM-supported Christian Community. Across New Zealand, however, there now 9 parishes, and a number of individuals who have joined this Christian Community within the Anglican Church of Aotearoa, New Zealand, and Polynesia. At Sumner-Redcliff’s SGM, the vote was 84% in favour (the threshold to be met was a 2/3 rds majority).
What joining the Affirm-supported Christian Community means:
- A Parish, in this case the Sumner-Redcliffs Parish, will still be fully part of our Christchurch Diocese, and the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, NZ and Polynesia, including being part of Diocesan Synod and paying their Anglican quota.
- They will also sign up to become part of the AFFIRM-supported Christian Community. This Christian Community holds that the Bible (and the formularies of the Anglican Church) says that marriage is between a man and a woman and same-sex relationships are not able to be blessed.
- The Christian Community will also provide a “Protector Bishop” for member parishes to help with advocacy, support and pastoral oversight. Bishop Peter remains Bishop over any parishes in this diocese who join.
The AFFIRM website is www.affirm.net.nz