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Manc Chapel, First Church To Offer Civil Partnerships

Cross Street Chapel lives up to its radical past

Published on March 9th 2012.


Manc Chapel, First Church To Offer Civil Partnerships

A MANCHESTER chapel has become the first religious premises in England and Wales to offer civil partnerships to the LGBT community.

We are delighted to be able to offer this service to the LGBT community, which we consider a basic human right. We note with sadness the history of homophobia in many faith traditions 

Cross Street Unitarian Chapel was awarded the licence this week and is believed to be the first chapel to be given a licence it them to perform civil partnerships where couples are able to have a religious wedding ceremony and the civil partnership ceremony taking place afterwards.

Changes in legislation that were passed in December 2011 now allows places of worship to apply for these licences, and the chapel worked closely with Manchester City Council during its application.

Cross Street ChapelCross Street Chapel

Reverend Jane Barraclough the minister of Cross Street Unitarian Chapel said, “We are delighted to be able to offer this service to the LGBT community, which we consider a basic human right. We note with sadness the history of homophobia in many faith traditions as well as the current hateful language from some faith leaders that has received so much coverage in the media. But this is a time of great celebration for us, not sadness. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Manchester Registers’ Office who have gone out of their way to help us with the application process.”

The chapel is celebrating 350 years of congregation this year, and continues to promote inclusivity in its chapel, where people are welcome to worship regardless of sex, race or sexual orientation.

It has been a centre of radical and progressive thought throughout most of that period. Members of the congregation in 1821 provided the finance for John Edward Taylor to create the Manchester Guardian, now the Guardian. The 'paper proclaimed that it would, 'zealously enforce the principles of civil and religious Liberty ... warmly advocate the cause of Reform ... endeavour to assist in the diffusion of just principles of Political Economy and ... support, without reference to the party from which they emanate, all serviceable measures'.

This new initiative is no surprise.

Cross Street Chapel Back In The DayCross Street Chapel Back In The Day

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7 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

Simon SmithMarch 9th 2012.

'Members of the congregation in 1821 provided the finance for John Edward Taylor to create the Manchester Guardian, now the Guardian.'

And now its financed by a used car sales website.

ChapMarch 9th 2012.

That's a cheap jibe Simon. Times change. The motive was still pure.

Simon SmithMarch 9th 2012.

It's not a cheap jibe Chap, it's a fact.

It's also a fact that the Guardian legally reduces its tax bill by using tax havens, something it criticises others for doing.

I've nothing against the Cross St Chapel, but to use its association with The Guardian doesn't do much for me.

Duke FameMarch 9th 2012.

The guardian are hypocrites, it knows how to tweek it's readership's prejudiced and they fall in line like lemmings.

FhghjgMarch 9th 2012.

You daft people, the Guardian is not the point of this article.

Richard HJMarch 12th 2012.

Great to see that the city's radical progressive tradition is alive and well.

Paul Everitt shared this on Facebook on March 14th 2012.
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