The late Desmond Tutu’s daughter has been barred by the Church of England from leading a funeral as a result of she is married to a girl.

Mpho Tutu van Furth is an Anglican priest within the Diocese of Washington DC and had been requested to officiate at the funeral of her late godfather, Martin Kenyon, in Shropshire on Thursday.

Ms Tutu van Furth told BBC News it “seemed really churlish and hurtful”.

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The Diocese of Hereford said it was “a difficult situation”.

The Church of England doesn’t allow its clergy to be in a same-sex marriage as a result of its official instructing is that marriage is barely between one man and one girl.

However, its sister Anglican church within the US, The Episcopal Church, does permit clergy to enter into homosexual marriages.

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“Advice was given in line with the House of Bishop’s current guidance on same-sex marriage,” a statement from the Diocese of Hereford said.

The former Bishop of Liverpool, the Right Reverend Paul Bayes, who’s a campaigner for the church to change its position on sexuality, said to “plead that things are difficult is not good enough”.

“We urgently need to make space for conscience, space for pastoral care, and space for love,” he said.

After Mr Kenyon’s family was told of the Church’s choice, they moved the funeral service from St Michael and All Angels in Wentnor, close to Bishops Castle, to a marquee within the vicarage subsequent door so Ms Tutu van Furth might officiate and preach.

“It’s incredibly sad,” Ms Tutu van Furth told BBC News. “It appears like a bureaucratic response with perhaps an absence of compassion.

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