Anglican Position On Child Marriages

The Anglican Diocese of Trinidad & Tobago Does Not Support Child Marriages

With respect to the pronouncement of the Inter Religious Organization, (IRO) of which the Anglican Church is a member, concerning its position upholding child marriages, the Anglican Church in Trinidad and Tobago does not support or practice child marriages. In fact, our position is, that the provision,  held in common law with the age of consent of  12 years,  should be reviewed.

It is important to note that there was no Anglican representative present at the meeting, which made the resolution to uphold the marriage of 12-year-old girls, and as such Anglicans were not part of the vote. The current debate has to be seen in the light of the Marriage Acts on the books in this country. Anglicans and other Christians are authorized to perform marriages under the Civil Marriage Act, which carry an age of consent of 18 years. On the other hand, there are marriage acts, which govern the conduct of Hindu marriages, Muslim marriages  and Orisha marriages.

In one of those Acts, there is an age of consent of twelve years old, and that is the matter being reinforced by the  IRO, to say that the IRO  stands firmly behind this provision and that the government should not touch it. ‘According to common law in the Marriage Act of 1923, the legal  age  for  marriage  stands  at  12 for  girls  and  14 for  boys.’  (  [Published November 6,2011].

To conclude, the Anglican Church would not perform marriages of this age group and does not support the practice. We would support efforts to adjust the age of consent upwards.

Kindly bring this advisory to the congregations under your care.

The Right  Reverend  Claude Berkley – May 18,2016

>> Click here for official letter from Bishop Claude Berkley <<