The 2015 Anglican Diocese of Sydney Synod considered marriage. Specifically, Synod has affirmed marriage as between a man and a woman. The affirmation comes at a time when Australian legislation will plausibly be amended to broaden the definition of marriage.
The Anglican Diocese's action is timely and prudent, however, has the church let its guard down on marriage long before the current same-sex union push?
There is a gap between two important Australian marriage statistics. For 2013, 77% of couples cohabit prior to marriage and 73% of marriages are conducted by civil celebrants (statistics from: http://www.abs.gov.au/
An inference from these statistics is that a minimum of 6% (2015) of marriages are in respect:
- cohabiting couples,
- who marry in a church.
(Up from 4%, 2015)
Cohabiting would generally be evident to the minister of religion during wedding preparation. Presumedly, the minister would terminate the offer of his services. Some ministers are clearly letting cohabitating couples through (intentionally, or perhaps by failure of filtering).
Many white church weddings must have blushing brides!