Church takes its first gay wedding booking

Photo: David Hurst
Rev David Coaker of Leyland United Reformed Church
Photo: David Hurst Rev David Coaker of Leyland United Reformed Church
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A ground-breaking Leyland church has taken its first same-sex marriage booking.

United Reformed Church will hold the service in 2019 – though it is possible others could come forward before then.

Reverend David Coaker said there had been a number of inquiries from gay couples seeking to get married at the church after it became an approved venue for same-sex marriages in May.

He said: “We’ve got a booking for 2019.”

Reverend Coaker said he was not surprised more same-sex marriages had not been booked at the church.

“Not really, it was a principled decision,” he said.

Leyland URC’s vote for same-sex marriages was made possible after the United 
Reformed Church General Assembly agreed in July 
2016 that decisions about whether to allow the marriage of same sex couples would 
be made by individual congregations within the different 
legal systems of parts of the UK.

It followed legislation in 2013 and 2014 bringing recognition for same-sex marriage into law in England, Wales and Scotland, which stipulated that religious organisations would have to ‘opt in’ if they wished to offer these marriage services.

Reverend Coaker said after the vote: “I am delighted that the members of the church voted in favour of being able to welcome anyone who wants to celebrate their love and commitment to do so.

He added: “I believe that it is a clear statement of their belief that everyone is valued, unique, and accepted as a 
fellow human being, and is welcome within Leyland United Reformed Church.”