A few weeks ago we reported on the self-publicised plan of Bendigo Cathedral priest to enter into a same-sex marriage.
The Bendigo Advertiser reported on the actual marriage itself.
Drew Reid and Father Noel Richards have become the first same-sex couple to be married in a Bendigo church.
The couple said ‘I do’ in front of family and friends at St Andrew’s Uniting Church in Bendigo on Saturday.
“It has been a fabulous day,” Drew said. “The love is just overwhelming. We’re just gobsmacked.”
The full church applauded loudly as the couple said their vows and were announced as husbands. Even a malfunctioning microphone couldn’t damper spirits.
“It was just so wonderful,” Father Noel said. “I thought I would be a blubbering idiot. But everyone was so terrific and there wasn’t any time for blubbering.”
“Australia said yes and so did we,” Drew said.
The Advertiser also has a video of part of the ceremony.
The marriage will dramatically raise tensions over the issue in the Diocese of Bendigo:
While Father Noel has been an ordained priest of the Anglican Church for more than 40 years, the couple were unable to be married at St Paul’s Cathedral in Bendigo.
Despite that setback, Drew told the Bendigo Advertiser last month the support from the people of St Paul’s was undeniable.
“The congregation has just loved Noel and when they heard about our relationship they were just really excited for us,” Drew said.
Bishop Matt Brain is quoted in the piece:
The Synod of the Diocese of Wangaratta voted 67-18 in favour of the blessings, but the historic decision is now being challenged by the Anglican Church of Australia.
Regardless of the legal outcome, Anglican Diocese of Bendigo Bishop Matt Brain indicated a similar change to allow blessings of same-sex marriages would not be happening in his diocese.
But Bishop Brain said the church would continue to support every parishioner regardless of their sexuality.
Noel Richards is not a parishioner but a licensed priest at the Cathedral in Bendigo. As we reported previously, this action will now put him in clear breach of the requirements of Faithfulness in Service
7.1 The sexual conduct of clergy and church workers has a significant impact on the Church and the community.
7.2 Sexuality is a gift from God and is integral to human nature. It is appropriate for clergy and church workers to value this gift, taking responsibility for their sexual conduct by maintaining chastity in singleness and faithfulness in marriage.
Standards for clergy and church workers
These standards state the Church’s expectations for personal behaviour and the practice of pastoral ministry.
7.4 You are to be chaste and not engage in sex outside of marriage and not engage in disgraceful conduct of a sexual nature.
All eyes will now turn to what action Bishop Brain will take in the problem that Noel Richards has forced upon him. He has previously told davidould.net:
I am not going to telegraph any discussions, let alone disciplinary matters via the media.
image: Bendigo Advertiser