Leytonstone United Free Church has become the first in Waltham Forest to say 'I do' to same sex marriages

Leytonstone United free Church leadership, Amy Willshire, Mike Cornforth and Rev Alison Mackay.

Leytonstone United free Church leadership, Amy Willshire, Mike Cornforth and Rev Alison Mackay. Buy this photo

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East London and West Essex Guardian Series: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter, covering Walthamstow, Leyton and Leytonstone. Call me on 07768 507 739

A Leytonstone church will become the first in Waltham Forest to host same-sex marriages.

The United Free Church, in Wallwood Road, Leytonstone, is one of just thirty in the UK which has agreed to support the new legislation.

After consulting members of the two denominations which worship at the church through an ecumenical partnership, the church leaders held a vote.

Church councillor Amy Willishire said there was wide approval for the move.

She said: “The decision was made on September 13 last year but it was a long process.

“We had a vote which, other than two abstentions was unanimous in support.

“We are a church that is very accepting of lots of different people.

"We didn’t want to say ‘maybe later’ or ‘if it comes up’ we are saying that we are open to this and we do accept all people.”

The church, which was formed with the joining of Fillebrook Baptist Church and Leytonstone United Reform Chuch in 1979, has been approached by one couple who would like to be married but they cannot do so at the moment as they are already in a civil partnership.

Before the decision was made, the Baptist Union removed the restriction against their church allowing same sex weddings.

It was confirmed the church can now marry same sex couples at the weekend.

Reverend Alison Mackay, who will marry the couples, said with the church’s ethos of acceptance for all, it was an easy choice.

She said: “It is about the spirit of inclusion.

“We are a church that welcomes everyone so it was a natural decision. We believe that God’s love is for everyone.”

Other church denominations are expected to make a decision over whether or not they will support gay marriage in their churches at their annual general meetings this year.

The first same sex marriages took place in the UK on March 29 after legislation was passed in July 2013.

Comments (6)

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12:00pm Wed 14 May 14

cynicalsue says...

Hooray! The 21st Century arrives in Waltham Forest!
Hooray! The 21st Century arrives in Waltham Forest! cynicalsue
  • Score: 2

2:20pm Wed 14 May 14

Alison Mackay says...

What I actually said was that after engagement and commitment to the URC Radical Welcome Campaign, much a time of prayer, theological reflection and discussion it was an easy decision to make. (Rev Alison Mackay)
What I actually said was that after engagement and commitment to the URC Radical Welcome Campaign, much a time of prayer, theological reflection and discussion it was an easy decision to make. (Rev Alison Mackay) Alison Mackay
  • Score: 0

2:23pm Wed 14 May 14

Alison Mackay says...

What I actually said was after the church had made a firm commitment to the URC's Radical Welcome Campaign, and a time of listening, discussion, theological reflection and prayer it was an easy choice to make.
What I actually said was after the church had made a firm commitment to the URC's Radical Welcome Campaign, and a time of listening, discussion, theological reflection and prayer it was an easy choice to make. Alison Mackay
  • Score: -3

10:33am Thu 15 May 14

HottRedMan says...

Totally ridiculous and goes against the bible. What a joke, what next? teaching of sex before marriage and then saying its a good thing.

And before you get the bandwagon jumpers going on about the church should do this, go tell the mosque's to do this as well. But many of you would not have the balls to.
Totally ridiculous and goes against the bible. What a joke, what next? teaching of sex before marriage and then saying its a good thing. And before you get the bandwagon jumpers going on about the church should do this, go tell the mosque's to do this as well. But many of you would not have the balls to. HottRedMan
  • Score: 0

2:55pm Thu 15 May 14

Mrs Cornerbeef says...

Places of worship aren't compelled to take part in wedding ceremonies, whether church or mosque. this is something that this particular church has chosen to adopt.
Places of worship aren't compelled to take part in wedding ceremonies, whether church or mosque. this is something that this particular church has chosen to adopt. Mrs Cornerbeef
  • Score: 4

5:05pm Thu 15 May 14

Villagecranberry says...

HottRedMan wrote:
Totally ridiculous and goes against the bible. What a joke, what next? teaching of sex before marriage and then saying its a good thing.

And before you get the bandwagon jumpers going on about the church should do this, go tell the mosque's to do this as well. But many of you would not have the balls to.
I totally agree, show me the first gay marriage in a mosque and I'll eat my hat.
[quote][p][bold]HottRedMan[/bold] wrote: Totally ridiculous and goes against the bible. What a joke, what next? teaching of sex before marriage and then saying its a good thing. And before you get the bandwagon jumpers going on about the church should do this, go tell the mosque's to do this as well. But many of you would not have the balls to.[/p][/quote]I totally agree, show me the first gay marriage in a mosque and I'll eat my hat. Villagecranberry
  • Score: 3

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