Diocese to canvass congregation's views on marriage equality

THE ANGLICAN Diocese of Grafton will canvass its congregation for their views on marriage equality over the next year.

In a wide-ranging interview on ABC radio yesterday, the Bishop of Grafton Sarah McNeil, spoke of the recent diocesan synod held in Port Macquarie.

Bishop McNeil said members of the synod had discussed a number of political issues, including gay marriage, asylum seeker policy and climate change.

The bishop said the synod decided to assess the views of the congregation on gay marriage in the next 12 months, then to present this to the 2016 synod.

Bishop McNeil said the Anglican Church's views on marriage were constrained by Australian law.

The synod also tackled the issue of transparency in Australia's treatment of asylum seekers.

"There was a level of concern over what appeared to be an increasing lack of transparency over the treatment of asylum seekers," the Bishop said.

She said the synod would write to the Minister for Immigration, to inform him of the of the synod's views.

She said it was not unusual for a synod to tackle political issues, as the topics raised came from the people in attendance.

Another topical issue the synod tackled was climate change and divestment of investments in heavily polluting industries.

"(The position was) if we have any investment in heavily polluting industries we divest ourselves of them," the Bishop said.

"And we have an investment policy of not investing in any such industries."

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