Search

Hampstead church first in London to allow same-sex civil partnership ceremonies

11:26 25 September 2012

Reverend Patrick O

Reverend Patrick O'Neill at Rosslyn Hill Chapel, which is due to become the first church in London to hold civil partnerships. Picture: Nigel Sutton

© Nigel Sutton email pictures@nigelsuttonphotography.com

A Hampstead church could become the first in London to hold civil partnership ceremonies in its chapel following an unprecedented vote.

The congregation at Rosslyn Hill Unitarian Chapel in Pilgrim’s Place showed unanimous support for same-sex ceremonies to be held at the church during a vote on Sunday.

Reverend Dr Patrick O’Neill will now submit a licence application to Camden Council.

The reverend, who moved from New York to become minister at the Hampstead church last year, sought advice from the council on the process two months ago.

“Our motivation for this is always to be pressing for greater equality for all people which is very much consistent with our basic values as a church,” he explained.

“The issue for us now is setting an example for the wider community.

“We didn’t know if it would be automatically viable when we pressed to do the vote but now we’re going ahead with it and we seem to have a borough that is open to the process.”

He added: “Unfortunately the Church of England and the Catholic Church are against it, so a lot of churches are precluded.”

He added: “We need to raise cultural awareness and recognise that in our society ten to 15 per cent of people are gay, lesbian or bisexual”.

He said: “It affects many families, whether they recognise it or not.”

Religious buildings have only been able to hold same-sex civil ceremonies since February last year, though the Church of England maintains a ban on the practice.

In June this year, 120 clergy wrote a letter to the Church of England asking it to reconsider its stance.

The Church of England said nothing would change unless the full General Synod, which is its legislative body, consents.

A number of religious buildings in Camden, such as the Quaker-run Friend’s House in Euston Road, have been granted a licence since the amended law was introduced.

However, with the universal backing of its congregation, Rosslyn Hill looks like it will be the first church in London to hold same-sex civil ceremonies.

0 comments

Latest News Stories

06:45
A leading academic has said Islamic extremism was rife on campus at the University of Westminster during the time Isis killer Mohammed Emwazi was a student. Picture: Polly Hancock

A leading academic has said Islamic extremism was rife on campus at the University of Westminster during the time Isis killer Mohammed Emwazi was a student - with recruits led “like lambs to the slaughter”.

Yesterday, 17:44
Community campaigners, including Tom Conti, protested outside the site of the proposed new Tesco in Belsize. Picture: Polly Hancock

A campaign backed by a number of high-profile actors to prevent Tesco from opening a new store in Belsize Park has ended in victory after the supermarket chain announced it had abandoned its plans.

Yesterday, 17:32
Andrey Guryev. Picture: Getty Images

A village has tentatively extended the hand of friendship to the Russian billionaire owner of London’s largest private house – after his identity was revealed this week following years of speculation.

Yesterday, 17:15
Blogger Laila Swann has been chosen from 750 hopefuls for the unique job

A young Hampstead woman has beaten more than 750 hopefuls to a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity” that will see her sent around the world to date men from different cultures and pick up the world’s best dating tips.

Most read news

Property Newsletter Sign-up

The latest North London property news and features straight into your inbox.

Other Emails:
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot

Competitions

The sell out 2014 event 32 Londoners, returns to the Coca-Cola London Eye!

The Coca-Cola London Eye is proud to announce that 32 Londoners will be returning this June, following last year’s sell out event. The event will feature 32 talks, in each of the London Eye’s 32 capsules on 32 extraordinary Londoners.

You could take in stunning views of London over brunch at the Sky Garden

Celebrate lighter, brighter days with the chance of winning an indulgent brunch for two with a bottle of bubbles at Darwin, the cool and casual brasserie 36 floors up at Sky Garden.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Hampstead & Highgate Express e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24


Our trusted business finder