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Gay-wedding priest returns home alone

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    Gay-wedding priest returns home alone - 17-Jun-2008
    A Hamilton priest whose gay wedding ceremony has sparked a row between liberal and conservative wings of the Anglican Church has returned to New Zealand without his partner.

    But the couple look set to enjoy a honeymoon soon amid speculation they are to be reunited in New Zealand within weeks.

    The Rev David Lord was yesterday tending patients at Waikato Hospital, where he works as a doctor. He was unwilling to discuss his new-found world notoriety, with a hospital staff member saying: "David Lord is taking no calls for a week."

    Dr Lord exchanged rings and vows last month with his boyfriend, London hospital chaplain the Rev Peter Cowell, 50, in London's St Bartholomew the Great Church.

    The ceremony has been labelled the Anglican Church's first gay wedding, despite a ruling by the Archbishop of Canterbury banning formal blessings of same-sex partnerships.

    It has sparked a row which threatens to split the church. A leading bishop has ordered an investigation amid the fallout.

    "Services of public blessings for civil partnerships are not authorised in the Church of England or the Diocese of London," the bishop of London, Richard Chartres, said.

    "I will be asking the archdeacon of London to investigate what took place at the church of St Bartholomew the Great."

    Dr Lord was ordained at Waikato Cathedral Church of St Peter in December. The Dominion Post understands he met with the Bishop of Waikato soon after news of his London ceremony broke. The pair later issued a statement announcing Dr Lord had surrendered his licence to officiate as a priest.

    Several members of his church would say only that Dr Lord was a good priest and "a very competent young man".
    Ref: - Dominion Post

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