Rector Faces the Sack After Holding Britain’s First Gay ‘Wedding’

Reverend Martin Dudley sparked fury by blessing two gay priests in a service that used a traditional wedding liturgy

A faces the sack after becoming the first clergyman to conduct a gay ‘marriage’ in an Anglican church.

The Rev Martin Dudley flouted Church of England rules by blessing two homosexual priests in a service that used a traditional wedding liturgy in which the couple exchanged vows and rings.

Details of the ceremony provoked fury among many senior ministers and fuelled the row over gay which already threatens to tear apart the worldwide Anglican church.

Last night the Bishop of London, the Rt, ordered an urgent inquiry into the ceremony, which was held last month in one of the capital’s oldest churches, St Bartholomew the Great.

He said: ‘Services of public blessings for civil partnerships are not authorised in the Church of England or the Diocese of London. I will be asking the Archdeacon of London to investigate what took place.’

If Mr Dudley is found to have broken church rules he faces potential disciplinary action ranging from a rebuke to dismissal.

Last night he insisted he had no regrets about the service, saying: ‘It seems to me
that Jesus would have been sitting in the congregation.’ But one of the two men he blessed has already quit as a Anglican minister following the furore surrounding the service.The Rev Dr David Lord, a medic who was ordained in his native New Zealand last December, issued a joint statement with the Bishop of Waikato announcing he ‘felt it appropriate to lay down his clergy licence’.

The doctor met the Rev Peter Cowell, 50, after the former started working at St Bartholomew’s hospital in London five years ago. Cambridge-educated Mr Cowell is the hospital chaplain and a priest at Westminster Abbey, one of the Queen’s churches.’s+first+gay+’wedding’+in+an+Anglican+church/