Anglican preacher leaves CofE over his same-sex marriage


A Church of England lay reader has chosen to marry rather than stay in ministry, leaving the church in order to wed his partner of 15 years.

Jeremy Timm took part in his final service at Howden Minster, East Yorkshire, after being told he was unable to officiate once his same-sex marriage has taken place.

The announcement of his wedding, which is taking place on Thursday, was greeted with applause by the congregation that he has been serving.

He left the church hopeful to return in the future, according to the BBC.

In August Timm told Christian Today that he had received an ultimatum from the Archbishop of York Dr John Sentamu when he announced his intention of wedding his civil partner.

Same-sex marriage was made legal in England and Wales in March 2014, but the Church of England still holds that marriage is between a man and a woman.

Timm will make his spiritual home in a dispersed Christian community, Contemplative Fire, which he has already joined. This is an "acknowledged community" of the Church of England and the visitor is Bishop of Liverpool Paul Bayes. "I will journey on the faith path with that community," he said.

Timm became a Christian while at Leicester University through its Christian Union. He later was accepted for ordination training at Cranmer Hall, Durham. He trained there for four years before working with CMS in Hong Kong for another two. He was never ordained because his father asked him to join the family flour milling business.

He later completed an MA in Theology and returned to ministry as a reader. He was licensed to officiate, enabling him to preach and take services except Holy Communion.

The statement from the Archbishop's office said that the guidance for readers was clear in "expecting the same of readers as the Church of England does of its clergy" and therefore being married to a partner of the same sex disqualifies you from serving.