Church-going Christian couple Shane Yerrell, 39, and David Sparrey, 30, of Waltham Abbey, Essex, finally tied the knot in Wanstead, East London.
The same-sex couple had always wanted a church wedding but claimed to have been turned down 31 times after calling venues. On the 32nd try, Wanstead United Reformed Church said yes, and the couple could marry in front of family and friends on October 21.
‘Honestly, I’d all but given up,’ said Shane, deputy mayor for Waltham Abbey and councillor for Epping Forest. But when I spoke with [Reverend] Tessa, I was literally shouting and jumping around the room with joy. David was sceptical.
‘When Tessa and I first met, she said, ‘I can see you love each other, love is love.’ It was the most incredible sensation.
Both men are Christians who attend church every six weeks and were raised with church wedding traditions.
‘When the church agreed to marry us, we were overjoyed. Everything felt complete. I had hoped Shane’s patience and determination would pay off and they did.
‘It is a proud moment for us at Wanstead United Reformed Church to be the first to bring this good news to its community,’ Reverend Henry-Robinson told MyLondon.
Same-sex marriage became legal in the United Kingdom in 2013, with the first marriages taking place in early 2014.
However, the Church of England website states that the law prohibits its ministers from performing same-sex marriages.
It goes on to say that, while there are no authorised services for blessing same-sex civil marriage, your local church can still pray for you.