St John's URC now registered for same-sex marriages
Warrington’s St John’s United Reformed Church now registered to perform
marriage services for same-sex couples.
The General Register Office recently approved the application for St John’s United
Reformed Church, Wilderspool Causeway, to be registered for the marriage of
In July 2016 the General Assembly of the United Reformed Church decided in July
2016 to empower individual churches to independently decide whether they wished
to register to conduct marriages for same-sex couples. St John’s is the first United
Reformed church congregation in the Mersey Synod to decide to conduct such
weddings, following a vote of its Church Meeting in early 2017 in which more than
two-thirds of members supported the change.
Andrew Page, an elder at St John’s and a Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) rights activist, said: ‘St John’s aspires to be an inclusive church and we want people who may have felt excluded and marginalised in church to feel welcome here.
“St John’s has held a monthly Open Table service, an inclusive service specifically welcoming the LGBT community, for more than two years now. For us, registering to conduct marriages for same-sex couples was a natural progression of this and we are delighted to be able offer church weddings to those previously excluded.”
“Some will not welcome our decision, but for us, it’s a matter of reconciling the love of God and what we know about Jesus Christ with the way we treat others. We believe Jesus was equally accepting of all people, and we are trying to live as he did. This decision of the church members is based on both a theological position and a desire to offer a truly inclusive welcome.”
St John’s joins the Unitarian Chapel in Cairo Street in being able to conduct church weddings for same-sex couples in Warrington, and expects to conduct its first later this year.
The United Reformed Church has often been at the forefront of radicalism and recently celebrated the 100th anniversary of the ordination of the Rev Constance Coltman, the first woman to be ordained in a mainstream British church.