Welby told me gay marriage progress will be ‘glacial’, says Sandi Toksvig

Comedian says C of E’s position is ‘untenable’ after meeting archbishop of Canterbury

Sandi Toksvig has said the Church of England’s position on same-sex marriage is “untenable” after a meeting with the archbishop of Canterbury.

The comedian met Justin Welby after she expressed her dismay last year that he had reaffirmed the church’s 1998 declaration that gay sex is a sin.

The “long-promised coffee” was “calm and considered”, she said, but criticised Welby after he told her that progress on the issue would be “glacial”.

In a video released online after the meeting, Toksvig said it was clear the “Church of England and the society it purports to represent are not remotely in step”.

“Yesterday I went to have coffee, tea, actually, with the archbishop of Canterbury, not a sentence I thought would ever come out of my mouth,” Toksvig said.

“From our very calm and considered conversation yesterday, it is very clear that the state’s Church of England and the society it purports to represent are not remotely in step.

“Justin was keen for me to see that they are moving forward, but conceded that any progress, as I would see it, if it happens at all, will be glacial.”

As the Actress said to the Bishop… #comeoutforlove pic.twitter.com/fIFJkGVZzr

— Sandi Toksvig (@sanditoksvig) January 26, 2023

Welby recently said he welcomed the Church of England’s proposals to bless same-sex married couples but said he will not personally carry them out due to his “pastoral responsibility for the whole communion”.

Toksvig continued: “I asked Justin if he could just come out. I don’t mean to make a surprise announcement about his sexuality, but come out as a gay ally.

“Basically, to come up for love, love for all without exceptions, and not the current Orwellian position, where it would seem we are all created equal, but some are more equal than others.

“I hope that will happen, but I do not intend to wait upon the church. In the next few weeks, I will be reaching out to the LGBT+ community and all our allies to see what can be done.

“The present position is untenable. In the meantime, please. Let’s all come out for love.”

Last week the Church of England said this week it will allow same-sex couples to come to church for services including prayers of dedication, thanksgiving and God’s blessing following a legal marriage ceremony.


Tom Ambrose

The GuardianTramp

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