Your input matters: deanery conversations on the proposed changes to the Marriage Canon

Photo: M. J. Idzerda, taken at the Seating of Bishop Linda Nicholls, November 2016.

As we reported in the fall, the Diocese of Huron is in the midst of a consultation about the proposed changes to the Marriage Canon. The first of these consultations have taken place and several more are planned throughout the diocese. Thank you to those who have participated. If you have not already attended a deanery conversation we encourage you to do so.

We are not of one mind in our Diocese about whether or not there should be changes to the Marriage Canon to allow for same-sex marriages. The Marriage Canon Task Force is collecting all of your input and it will form the basis of a report to the Diocese of Huron Synod in May 2018.

A question raised at some of the first deanery gatherings was, “Does our input matter?”, and related to that question there were comments such as, “It feels like the decision has already been made.”

The short answer is, yes, your input matters and is an important part of the process.

The Marriage Canon, and the proposed changes to it, is the responsibility of the General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada.

  • A motion passed at General 2016 to change the Marriage Canon; the changes need to be approved at a second reading at General Synod 2019 in order for them to come into effect.
  • Input from people across the Anglican Church of Canada, including the Diocese of Huron, will be considered by General Synod before the members vote in 2019.
  • Who will be voting at General Synod? All bishops and archbishops of the Anglican Church of Canada are members of General Synod. There are also clergy and lay delegates who are elected from each Diocese, as well as the Canadian Forces and the religious orders.
  • The clergy and lay delegates from the Diocese of Huron will be elected by members of our Diocese of Huron Synod.  These clergy and lay delegates are the only people from the Diocese of Huron who will have a vote at General Synod 2019.
  • There will not be a vote at Diocese of Huron Synod about making changes to the Marriage Canon.

There have also been requests for resource materials. We remind you that we have gathered and created resource materials and posted them on the diocesan website at

Thank you to those who have checked out these resources to enrich our conversations. If you cannot access the website please ask your rector for assistance.  Resources include:

  • This Holy Estate, report from the National Marriage Commission prepared for General Synod
  • A Summary of Theological and Scriptural Issues
  • Questions for Deanery Conversations
  • Video for Deanery Conversations

We pray the Holy Spirit will guide us as we learn to how to continue to be in relationship in spite of the difficult conversations that face us.  In a world that is often polarized over a number of issues, may we set an example of how to be loving even when we are not of like-mind.

The Marriage Canon Task Force:

The Ven. Greg Jenkins

The Rev’d Dr. Stephen McClatchie

Canon Marilyn Malton