update 18 September 2019: St John’s Toorak has removed both the offer of blessings for same-sex marriages and their statement of “deep regret” from their website’s “Weddings FAQ” page. Whether the parish is still offering such blessings is unclear. The quote below of the original offer of such blessings includes a link to a screen grab of the original.
In another act of defiance against the Anglican Church of Australia’s doctrine of marriage, a Melbourne parish is openly offering blessings of same-sex marriages by their clergy.
We deeply regret that at the present time, it is not legally possible for Anglican clergy to conduct marriage services for couples of the same sex. We look forward to the day when we will be able to do so. Until this legal problem is addressed however, the clergy of St. John’s would be pleased to welcome any couple, including couples of the same sex, to have a service for the blessing of their marriage, including a renewal of vows, following a legal marriage conducted by a celebrant licensed to do so. Please contact the clergy for further information.
Because of its extensive ministry of weddings, St John’s is used as a training site for deacons in their first year after ordination. They spend a morning there learning about how to conduct such services including a session on “The purpose and theology of the marriage service” and then move on to discussing topics relevant to the topic including “Current Issues in Marriage Ministry” followed by questions. The most recent such training was in August 2019.
The vicar of St John’s, Revd Dr Peter French, serves on Archbishop in Council.
davidould.net suggests that a good question for the next training session there would be “how is the blessing of same-sex marriages consistent with the Anglican Church of Australia’s theology and doctrine of marriage”?
image: St John’s, Toorak