Padiham church makes history as first in the area to marry gay couples

The Rev Jim Corrigall minister at Padiham Unitarian Chapel which has become the first in the area to be approved to carry out same sex weddings.

The Rev Jim Corrigall minister at Padiham Unitarian Chapel which has become the first in the area to be approved to carry out same sex weddings.

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A church in Padiham has made history by becoming the first in the area to gain approval to hold same sex weddings.

Unitarian Chapel at Knight Hill is the first in the Padiham, Burnley and Pendle to be granted the right to carry out the ceremonies under legislation which came into effect in England, Wales and Scotland two years ago.

Padiham now joins Rawtenstall Unitarian Church as among the few religious premises in this part of East Lancashire offering gay couples the chance to get married.

The Minister, the Rev Jim Corrigall, said he was delighted the Church could now offer all couples the right to marry and it was also timely as there has been serious interest in it.

He said: “We Unitarians have played a leading role in campaigns for equal marriage, alongside the Quakers and Liberal Jews.

"Unitarians have always championed tolerance and social justice. We have had women ministers for over 100 years and been performing blessings for same-sex couples for more than 30 years.”

The Padiham Chapel now joins Rawtenstall Unitarian Church which last year became the first church in Rossendale Valley to be registered to conduct same-sex marriage ceremonies.

Legislation to allow equal marriage came into effect two years ago in England, Wales and Scotland. Since then, around 50 Unitarian churches and chapels have been given permission to conduct same-sex wedding ceremonies.