Bond and Pearse met six years ago, while working in the same charity (an ecclesiastical office), and now live in Felixstowe and are both assistant priests. They shared a love of rowing (Bond became emotional as he hugged and kissed friends from their local club, usually not churchgoers, after prayer), reading and playing tennis. racket, with Pearse happily claiming he had the better backhand. Both have adult children from their previous marriages to men. Bond’s godson no longer spoke to her, she said, because of her relationship.
Local support was bolstered by the Rev. Andrew Dotchin, the priest in charge, who presided over Sunday’s service. As a member of the Synod, he sees today as an important step towards “building[ing] a church devoted to radical new Christian inclusivity,” he said, a journey that began with the church’s apology to the LGBTQIA+ community for its treatment in January this year. “We think it’s ‘us and them’ without realizing that gays and lesbians are already in the church,” he said of the apparent divide that keeps the factions apart. “Today was wonderful for Jane and Catherine; it’s great for the Church of England – because today is the day the Church of England comes out of its closet and says, ‘we are who we are and we love everyone who is here.’” He admitted that “not all of us are present.” same page, but I hope and pray that the joy of service today will help people continue to say, ‘yeah, it wasn’t that hard, was it?’” Just like the concept of women becoming priest or bishop was once controversial but is now largely accepted, he hopes that the issue of same-sex marriage in the Church of England will move in the same direction.