The Canon XXI Task Group was formed by Archbishop Colin Johnson in 2017 to assist Diocesan Synod in considering the proposed changes to the marriage canon to incorporate provision for marriage of same-sex couples in the Anglican Church Canada.
General Synod voted in favour of the changes in 2016 by the required two-thirds majorities in all three houses (laity, clergy and bishops); the second required vote is planned when it convenes again in 2019. In the intervening time, the motion was sent for consideration, although not a vote, at diocesan and provincial Synods.
The Canon XXI Task Group made a presentation at the Regular Session of Synod in November 2017. In response to the feedback received, the Task Group prepared resources to help members of Synod have informed, respectful conversations with each other on the subject leading up to the next Regular Session of Synod.
More than 600 people participated in the process of consideration at the Regular Session of Synod on Nov. 9-10, 2018. Based on these conversations, the Diocese of Toronto provided a submission to the Council of General Synod’s meeting on Nov. 23-25, 2018.
Our Message to the Council of General Synod
- What We Heard
The major themes that emerged from the process of listening and sharing at our Regular Session of Synod in November 2018.
- Appendix 1: Outline of the Diocese of Toronto Process
An overview of the consultation process used in this Diocese.
- Appendix 2: Report Back from Synod 2017
A summary from our 2017 Synod about what would be helpful in preparing for discussion as a Diocese.
- Appendix 3: Same-Sex Unions – A Brief Survey of the Conversations
A history of the dialogues, decisions and key moments in the Church’s discernment process.
- Appendix 4: Authority in the Anglican Communion
An explanation about how the churches of the Anglican Communion try to come to a common mind.
- Appendix 5: National and International Views
A summary of National and International views concerning same-sex marriage.
- Appendix 6: Annotated Bibliography
An updated bibliography of key resources using the Annotated Bibliography from the Marriage Commission Report.
- Appendix 7: A Word About Facilitated Dialogue
A resource to help Anglicans have facilitated conversations.
- Appendix 8: Bishops’ Pastoral Statement
A pastoral statement on commitment to diverse theological positions in the Diocese of Toronto by the Bishop of Toronto and endorsed by the College of Bishops.
- General Synod’s Canon XXI (On Marriage in the Church)
- Amendment to General Synod’s Canon XXI (On Marriage in the Church)
- This Holy Estate: Report of the Commission on the Marriage Canon of the Anglican Church of Canada
Full report from the Commission on the Marriage Canon, which includes: background and terms of reference; input from the broad consultations; details on whether a proposed motion blessing same-sex marriage would contravene the Solemn Declaration of 1893, as well as the question of a conscience clause; biblical and theological rational for a change in teaching on the nature of Christian marriage, and a conclusion. Appendices consist of a draft resolution for General Synod 2016 and the text of the Solemn Declaration, as well as past resolutions.
- Summary of the Marriage Commission Report
The summarized version of the Report of the Commission on the Marriage Canon uses a question-and-answer format to clarify the main issues involved, the task of the commission and its conclusions, addressing common concerns and describing the next steps in the process.
For more information or to contact the Canon XXI Task Group, please contact Pamela Boisvert, Secretary of Synod, 416-363-6021, ext. 231 (1-800-668-8932).