A seventh parish within the Diocese of New Westminster will become a place where the unions of gay and lesbian couples may be blessed.

St. Hilda’s, Sechelt, after a period of study voted 122 to 9 in favour at a Vestry (membership) meeting on November 14.

When Diocesan Synod voted to ask that same sex blessings be allowed in the diocese in 2002, it stipulated that they may only take place if the priest performing the blessing agrees in conscience to do so, and only in parishes that have voted to accept the practice.

The other six parishes that have decided to be places of blessing are Christ Church Cathedral, St. Mark’s, St. Margaret’s and St. Paul’s in Vancouver; St. Laurence, Coquitlam; St. Agnes, North Vancouver.

The other 71 parishes in the diocese have not to date requested permission to hold the ceremony.