The Bishop of Winchester has today voiced his concerns over the first gay "marriage" to be held in an Anglican church.

Rt Reverend Michael Scott-Joynt was speaking after it was revealed that Reverend Peter Cowell and the Rev Dr David Lord exchanged vows at St Bartholomew the Great in the City of London.

He said: "Strictly speaking it is not a marriage, but he marriage is clearly modelled on the marriage service and the occasion is modelled on the marriage service. This clearly flouts Church guidelines and will exacerbate divisions within the Anglican Communion."

The Bishop then called on the Bishop of London to take action.

Rt Rev Scott-Joynt, one of the leading Anglican bishops, added: Can we stand for the clear teachng of the Church of England or are we powerless in the face of of these actions, which I regret enormously have taken place."

Church of England guidelines say gay clergy can enter a civil partnership if they provide reassurance that they will abstain from sex.

Couples who ask a priest to bless their union must be dealt with ''pastorally and sensitively'' on an individual basis.

This is the first time a full ceremony has been held for a same sex couple.