06:00PM, Friday 13 May 2022
Maidenhead United Reformed Church (URC) has become the first church in the town to offer marriage services to same-sex couples.
Following a vote by members, the church in West Road is now registered to conduct same-sex weddings.
In July 2016, a resolution was passed at the United Reformed Church General Assembly, which is the denomination’s highest policy-making body, to allow United Reformed churches to register to offer same-sex marriage services.
The decision by the assembly followed legislation in 2013 and 2014 which brought same-sex marriage into law in England, Wales and Scotland.
The legislation specified that religious institutions would need to opt-in if they wanted to offer same-sex marriage services.
Maidenhead URC affirmed the decision to register the building for same-sex marriages in autumn last year.
The first same-sex weddings at Maidenhead URC could take place from June this year.
Church minister, Rev David Downing, said: “I am delighted that the church has voted with a clear majority to offer this service. We see it as a way of showing that God’s love is for all.
“We believe that when a couple make their marriage vows it reminds us of God’s love for us.
“To be able to offer weddings to opposite and same sex couples is a great way of celebrating love, especially God’s love.”
He added: “In introducing a significant change to the way marriage has been celebrated in church life, we hope that this new development both builds on our traditions and reflects the way we believe God wants Maidenhead United Reformed Church to be.”
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