Weddings, Blessings and Civil Partnerships
Do let us know if you would like to discuss marriage in the chapel. We like to meet informally to begin with, and build a close liaison. We take the marriage service seriously, with the vows that you will make to each other before family and friends, and the promises asked of them to you, in the presence of God, given proper time for thought. The Minister, aided by our weddings assistant, offers help and support throughout, from the planning to the service itself, and pastoral care afterwards.
Weddings are amongst the most exciting and emotional occasions that anyone can attend – and they can also be the most stressful to arrange! We aim to help the day to run as smoothly as possible, tailored to individual requirements. Being nonconformist we can agree a wording for the service that is appropriate both to faith and to individual couples; we are experienced for example in uniting Protestant and Catholic partners, since from our beginnings we have been friends to Christians of all denominations. Here are some photographs of Robert and Cecilia's wedding in 2012.
We offer in addition to traditional marriages, blessings following civil ceremonies, and Renewals of Vows.
Some couples find it more appropriate to hold a small civil wedding at the Town Hall, with a separate larger service of blessing in the chapel. This can be more comfortable if there has been a previous marriage, or if one partner is atheist or agnostic. A service of blessing can take many forms, with all the music, song, and words that are wished for arranged suitably.
Where couples have different faith backgrounds we will discuss the best way of holding an inter-faith service.
MARRIAGES AND CIVIL PARTNERSHIPS (APPROVED PREMISES) (AMENDMENT) REGULATIONS 2011
The law now permits premises used for religious services also to hold civil partnership ceremonies. Union Chapel was approved in November 2012 as the first permitted church in Islington to offer such services. Following further changes in the law, plans are advanced now also to be able to hold same-sex marriges.
Civil partnerships are not the same as marriage, and the ceremony rules are a little different, but we view the promises made as having the same validity: a union of two people whose love for each other is beyond question. It will be lovely to open our doors to couples who were previously confined to secular offices.
Because we believe that God's loving providence applies to all men and women, and because we believe that God's law is a law of freedom, giving liberty to men and women to live their lives in many diverse ways so long as they follow the perpetual duties and commandments of love; and since it also appears to us that God has blessed many same-sex couples with the gift of living together in joyful, loving relationships: it seems to us that these couples should not be denied the opportunity of proclaiming their love for each other in a church and thereby before God.
We have studied, carefully and reverently, those parts of the bible which appear to prohibit homosexuality, and we do not, in all honesty, find there any prohibition of the sort of relationships that we know same-sex couples to be capable of. Consequently, we have decided to allow Union Chapel to be used for civil partnerships between same-sex couples.
We welcome enquiries from all who wish to celebrate here.
Contact the Minister after the Sunday service or on 0207 359 4019 or e-mail church @ unionchapel.org.uk