Newlyweds John Davis and Rob Whalley given love, but not a blessing, from Anglican church

While John Davis and Rob Whalley could not have their marriage officially blessed, they were surrounded by love and support from the Anglican church community on Saturday.

The newlywed gay priests were on the other side of a church service, conducted by Bishop John Parkes in Wangaratta to celebrate the couple in front of more than 100 people - including clergy from many parts of the diocese.

Both in their 70s, Fathers Davis and Whalley have made a stand that those who are both people of faith and the LGBTQIA community should be accepted by the church.

They were married in a civil ceremony last week and following a 67-18 vote from the Diocese of Wangaratta, had hoped their relationship could be blessed at's Saturday's event.


Bishop Parkes said he understood people thought they would be participating in a liturgical blessing, but that would not happen until the decision is considered by the appellate tribunal.

He instead conducted morning prayer, which he said would hopefully result in people being "be filled to overflowing with the love".

"May it strengthen John and Rob as they suffer threats, abuse and persecution for their love," he said.

"May it demonstrate to the church and to the world that we are a group of committed Christians bound together in love, strong in faith and loyal to our Anglican foundations."

"May it offer a sign of hope to LGBTIQA people within the church, or on the fringes, or who have given away the church as representing a place of welcome and safety, that God is love, and the God who made them loves them, and we at least in this part of the world love and accept them too."

Indi MP Helen Haines also read a New Testament lesson at the service.

The Border Mail

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