Retired Archbishop George Carey admits it’s “gay marriage”

Archbishop George Carey

The former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey was interviewed on the Today programme this morning. He’s upset by what he sees as the gradual marginalisation of the Christian Church in the UK. He thinks the right to practice Christianity is under attack. He’s written about this, he told Ewan Davis three times, in the book he has written with his son, Andrew, We Don’t Do God.

He thinks the High Court ruling that a Devon town council acted unlawfully by allowing prayers to be said before meetings is all part of a deliberate campaign to get rid of Christianity as a public faith.

The Archbishop gave as another example the case of Ms Lillian Ladele, the Islington registrar, who lost her job when, as he put it, Islington Council changed their policy when civil partnerships were introduced. She felt, said the Archbishop, that as a practicing Christian she couldn’t supervise that kind of marriage.

Marriage, yes, that’s what he said. Woops! This week at General Synod, in various conversations, bishops and others have been at pains to clarify the difference between civil partnerships and marriage. They may be called marriages in common parlance, but in the Church of England, they are not, and a careful distinction has to be made.

Well, thanks George, for demonstrating that on this, at least, you stand with the (largely un-churched) mass of the population. They perceive lesbian and gay relationships as sharing all the qualities of marriage and refer to them as such. Marriage equality is the next thing on the Government’s agenda. The period of consultation begins next month.

The Church of England doesn’t have much time in which to develop a considered theology of lesbian and gay relationships, a truly pastoral response, and a recognition of what the majority, both outside and inside the church, accepts as divinely inspired – the love and commitment seen within same-sex relationships.


  1. Simon Sarmiento says

    But more to the point of his argument, Islington council didn’t *change* their policy. They adopted a new policy. She didn’t like it.

  2. Mike Dark says


    Thank you for bring this to our attention.

    I have just found an interview that George Carey gave in 2001. It makes interesting reading given his comments today.

    “The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr George Carey, has insisted the Church of England will not sanction gay marriages. Dr Carey told the BBC that the Church should not “muddy the waters” over the nature of marriage.

    He told the Breakfast with Frost programme: “Marriage is a relationship between man and a woman. I don’t think it actually helps to confuse terms.” He went on: “People can have deep friendship, and call it friendship, but we don’t have to muddy the waters in terms of calling it marriage. So let’s be clear about the language we use.””


    Mike Dark

  3. Erika Baker says

    And I don’t think it should be a Christian right to impose compulsory prayers.
    No-one is taking away the right of a group of councillors to get together before a meeting and pray.

    Do people like Lord Carey not realise how much damage they do to Christianity with this kind of misrepresentation?

  4. Richard Ashby says

    and, of course, the law didn’t allow councils to have prayers as part of their meeting. It said nothing about prayers before the meeting. It’s another storm in a teacup hyped up by that God-fearing Christian family ewspaper, the Daily Mail and those with a persecution complex like George.

    Funny that he has writen a book on the marginailsation of Christianity for his son, Andrew, who, as is well known is divorced and remarried, very much against the traditions and rules of the Church of England. One law for the heterosexual male…

  5. Patrick Gillan says

    How very cosy of George to promote his book with his son Andrew! Why oh why these Christians think they are being persecuted is baffling. Christianity was never meant to be a public body with special rights. Christianity is a movement whose leader was outside the establishment fighting for the ordinary man and woman. This is where these bishops in their palaces have lost a sense of reality. Carey wants to be all cosied up with the powers that be Jesus was never interested in being popular in this sense. As a counsellor myself albeit Parish we don’t pray before meeting but if we did as a Christian I would be asking are we marginalising our colleagues who do not share our faith. So George and praying counsellors of wherever feeling persecuted then just think how we poor gay Christians have felt for decades. Not so nice is it!

  6. Laurence C says

    “the majority, both outside and inside the church, accepts as divinely inspired”

    I would doubt that those outside the church accept this or anything else as ‘divinely inspired’.

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