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

Just Posted

National championship tees off Tuesday at Oak Bay’s Victoria Golf Club

Oldest 18-hole course in Canada in its original location hosts Men’s Mid-Amateur Championship

Police seek vehicle after early morning carjacking in Oak Bay

Stolen car is a 1999 Oldsmobile Alero, license plate FL307T

No new leads in 1992 Guyatt murder case

Newspaper clippings will not lead to the discovery of Shannon Guyatt’s body, says police

Tesla internship calls for UVic designer of electric ‘Caboost’

Saanich’s Simon Park to test design of his invention at Tesla

B.C. Farmers’ Market Trail a one-stop virtual guide to the goods

New website assembles, profiles 145+ farmers’ markets throughout B.C.

Art and music will fill Saanich’s Gardens at HCP

Horticulture Centre of the Pacific hosts 24th annual Arts and Music in the Gardens Aug. 25 and 26

Bear kills off-leash dog in B.C. park

There have been nearly 200 pet or livestock and bear encounters so far this year

Trudeau says he won’t apologize to heckler, pledges to call out ‘hate speech’

Prime Minister had accused woman of racism as she shouted about illegal immigration at Quebec rally

Documentary filmed in B.C. nominated in ‘Wildlife Oscars’’

Toad People is the only Canadian film to be nominated in this year’s Panda Wilderness Awards

B.C. man builds 10-foot sign thanking fire responders

Ken Rawson built his “thank u” sign on Saturday as helicopters responded to fires around the province.

PHOTOS: Olympian Patrick Chan helps B.C.’s ‘SuperChefs’ celebrate 10th anniversary

Former figure skater among those at event Friday in Surrey

Smaller B.C. bus service prepares to replace Greyhound

Kootenay-to-Okanagan run would require online reservations

Mother charged with homicide of Langley seven-year-old

Aaliyah Rosa’s 36-year-old mother charged with second degree murder: IHIT

Most Read