A UK couple becomes the first to legally marry in a UK church.

mccOn March 29, 2014, it became legal for same-sex couples to marry in England and Wales. At midnight, many happy couples became legally wed as they tied the knot in various places—but none of those places were churches.

Now, for the first time ever (at least, as far as sources can tell), a UK couple has been married in a church. Jan Tipper and Barb Burden were married at the Metropolitan community church (the MCC) in Bournemouth, a town in England.

Tipper and Burden had been attending the MCC foe 15 years and, according to The Guardian, they were surprised to discover that their wedding was the first to take place in a religious institution since the passage of the marriage bill on March 29.

“To get married in our church was very significant to us,” Tipper stated. “Even though we have been together for almost 19 years it didn’t feel right for us to have just a blessing or even a civil partnership. We have hoped for years for the opportunity to legally marry and once it became possible we knew it was time for us to tie the knot and to do it before God in our church with our friends and family.”

Her new wife added, “As it’s been approved since 29 March, we assumed there had already been others who had taken advantage. Unfortunately it shows the lack of effective ministry by most churches to gay people in so many ways.”

Rev. Dwayne Morgan, the officiant of Burden and Tipper’s ceremony, stated that the MCC had taken pride in the celebration of diversity and called the day “historic.”

“We have been offering wedding services for same-sex couples for many years in our church because we believe that God blesses the love of two people no matter what their gender,” Morgan said. “But to finally have the government fully recognise their love by giving them complete legal status as a married couple is a blessing for everyone.”

Photo: Wikipedia