Gloucestershire

Funeral law change voted though by Church of England

Coffin Image copyright Thinkstock

A campaign by a vicar to change a church law, forbidding Christian funerals for people who have taken their own lives, has moved closer to being successful.

The Church of England's ruling General Synod passed a motion calling for people who take their own life to be allowed a "normal" service.

The motion was brought by the Rev Canon Dr Michael Parsons from Gloucester.

It was carried by 262 votes to five, with six abstentions.

Rev Parsons said: "The vast majority of Synod is behind this. And we want to offer hope. Whatever the circumstances of a person's death, it is not without hope."

Currently suicide victims receive Christian burials but clergy technically have to go against Church of England guidelines.

The motion still needs to be brought before a Church of England committee before the canon law is changed.

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