Parish withdraws from Anglican Church over same-sex marriage

An Anglican parish in Dunedin has voted for disaffiliation with the Anglican Church due to opposition to the ‘abomination’ of homosexuality and opposition to blessing same-sex marriages.

Several other parishes around the country have taken similar action.

ODT:  Parish to leave church

A Dunedin parish opposed to the blessing of same-sex civil marriages has withdrawn from the Anglican Church, its minister saying homosexuality is an “abomination”.

St Matthew’s in Stafford St this week voted to disaffiliate from the church.

The decision means those in the parish who supported the move — it is understood  79% voted for disaffiliation — will have to find a new place to worship.

Bishop of Dunedin the Rt Rev Steven Benford confirmed the move yesterday. He said St Matthew’s voted to disaffiliate at a special meeting on Monday, in what was “a result of the General Synod resolution on the blessing of same-sex civil marriages passed in May 2018”.

In May, Dr Benford sent an email to his congregation in response to the move to allow priests to bless same-sex marriages and civil unions.

The vicar (or is that ex-vicar?) would not discuss the matter, but has previously made strong anti-homosexual comments.

St Matthew’s vicar, the Rev Stu Crosson, declined to discuss the matter yesterday.

But earlier this year Mr Crosson wrote the move to allow the blessing of same-sex marriages “appears to me to be a step into false teaching, contrary to the unified witness of scripture, a denial of what it means to be faithful, human, image bearers, in our maleness and femaleness and as such an idolatrous step away from our God”.

Mr Crosson said to bless something God called an abomination and the apostle Paul described as “inviting the wrath of God” seemed destined to invite the judgement of God upon the church.

To ‘restore’ the parts of the Bible they choose.

In a May document the parish suggested aligning itself with the Global Anglican Church, a movement that describes itself as “a global family of authentic Anglicans standing together to retain and restore the Bible to the heart of the Anglican communion”.

The parish could also “plant a new church in Dunedin, not under the Anglican banner”.

I’m not sure how well they have thought through the implications of de-affiliation.

Anglican diocesan registrar Andrew Metcalfe said yesterday the church and its buildings were owned by the Anglican Church.

A process would begin to deal with matters such as how to deal with paid staff at the church, he said.

The church would look for advice from Canterbury and discuss how it dealt with the churches there that disaffiliated.

“It is, for them and for us, unknown territory in many ways.

Perhaps they should have checked this territory out before deciding to disaffiliate. They are now shorty of a venue, and may also be short of staff and finances.

It may be a challenge trying to stick to archaic Bible based principles in a modern world.


Leave a comment


  1. duperez

     /  17th November 2018

    Wow, Dunedin has it’s own Brexit! At least they might consider there that they have God by their side to help guide them through events. 🙃

  2. Griff.

     /  17th November 2018

    Their church looks like a nice building for a home conversion
    I imagine the earth quake strengthening work required if god decides to do some smiting will be expensive .

  3. Corky

     /  17th November 2018

    Good to see a Parish actually stick to the word of their holy book. Nothing worse than a priest who reinterprets the bible from a humanist perspective.

    Why the Anglican Church continues to function is beyond me. They are riddled with PC. They need to pack their tent up and move on.

    • Kitty Catkin

       /  17th November 2018

      The Bible also says that women must not speak in church, but the Anglicans have many parishes with women vicars.

    • Gezza

       /  17th November 2018

      If these deluded folk want to have nothing to do with abominations they should read their fucking Old Testament and dump that abomination of a God called Yaweh – what an evil bloody abomination he is !

      • Mother

         /  17th November 2018

        The more I read the Bible in context (relating to history) and from a modern point of view, the more it makes sense and the more real God becomes. I’m sorry that most church folk are hypocrites (in my experience) and put people off Church. However, I will name my Lord. He is Jesus Christ, my redeemer. Church is special. It is unique on earth. Please don’t mock God. Some readers believe in Him and it hurts to see people deride the loving Father in Heaven. He is a good Father.

        • Kitty Catkin

           /  17th November 2018

          Good for you; ‘speak truth and shame the devil’.

          I agree about many church people being hypocrites; I have found that from experience. How many of the church-going people who said that they’d come to see me when my husband died of cancer did so, do you think? If you guessed ‘none’, you’d be right. Not one.

        • robertguyton

           /  17th November 2018



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