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  1. ITV Report

Bishop's concern over gay marriage

The Rt Rev Steven Croft spoke as the Church of England claimed gay marriage threatens the establishment of the Church and could lead to it being forced out of its role of conducting weddings on behalf of the state.

The Church of England said introducing same-sex marriage would lead to an unprecedented clash between its own canon law - that marriage is between a man and a woman - and that of Parliament.

"Whilst this is being presented as a kind of minor extension to what marriage means, actually, from the point of view of the Church and of society, it is a really, really fundamental change to an institution which has been at the core of our society for hundreds of years and which for the Church is not a matter of social convention but of Christian doctrine and teaching."

– The Rt Rev Steven Croft, Bishop of Sheffield

"One in four marriages in England are performed by the Church of England and that proportion is rising at the moment. In every marriage service the priest begins the service by spelling out what marriage is - a union between one man and one woman with the intention of it being lifelong.

"So it is really important to register back to the Government that this is not a minor change, this is a fundamental change to a very, very important social institution."

– The Rt Rev Steven Croft, Bishop of Sheffield