THE Bishop of Worcester has reservations about the speed at which a new law on gay marriage could be introduced.

Prime Minister David Cameron is going to propose special measures in a forthcoming Bill so the Church of England is not forced to host the ceremonies.

However, the Right Reverend Dr John Inge feels there has been a misunderstanding about the Government and Parliament imposing a ban on same sex marriages being conducted by the Church.

“This is a misunderstanding since, in fact, the current Canon Law of the Church of England would prohibit such marriages. The Government is simply saying that it would not seek to force the Church to change.

“What I am more concerned about is the haste with which the Government is proceeding with such a fundamental cha-nge to an institution which has been in existence since before either State or the Church existed after very cursory consultation.

“It was in neither the Conservative nor Liberal Democrat manifesto and polls consistently show more than half the population to be against it.

“I am pleased that civil partnerships give to same-sex couples all the legal benefits of marriage. Very many in the Church welcomed their advent, as did my predecessor who voted for them in the House of Lords at the time.

“However, the case for radically changing the meaning of marriage, which has always been understood to be between a man and a woman, has yet to be made convincingly.

"It is a divisive move because it has not been demonstrated that it will serve the common good.”