The Church of England has left the final decision on the future of a gay vicar after he married his partner, to the Bishop of Durham.

Rt Rev Tom Wright will decide how to handle Rev Christopher Wardale, vicar of the Holy Trinity Church in Darlington who married Malcolm Macourt in a civil partnership ceremony last December.

The Church of England’s guidelines are that while active same-sex relationships could be allowed among lay people, they should not be permitted among the clergy. It also forbade blessing services for homosexual couples.

Bishop Wright told the Evening Chronicle in Newcastle,” We’re all in new territory.” He is currently consulting people in the diocese.