This is a landmark and a really big step – a time to rejoice,” said Father Lee Taylor.
Father Lee and his partner Fabiano Da Silva Duarte have become what is thought to be the first same-sex couple to be officially blessed by the Church in Wales.
It comes after the Church’s governing body approved a new service of blessing for same-sex couples in September.
The move has put the Church in Wales at odds with its sister Anglican church, the Church of England, which forbids clergy from blessing gay couples.
Father Lee said the service, at St Collen’s Church, in Llangollen, Denbighshire, was “extremely special”.
“Our civil partnership took place at our local registry office in London in 2008. Although this was an important step for us it didn’t really feel like an occasion for great celebration back then,” he said.
“The ceremony was short and no religious content was permitted. It didn’t feel like a solemn and sacred moment.
“So this [blessing] is a really big step. It’s an opportunity to celebrate our love and union in the presence of God. It is exciting – a time to rejoice.”
He added: “We both have a deep faith and love of God and the church has always played an important part in our lives.
“We are very excited to have made this next step in our journey together.”
With a choir, bell ringers and family and friends attending, Father Lee said the ceremony had the “look and smell” of a traditional wedding.
“It has been a very moving and meaningful service for us. It had all the bells and whistles but without the actual marriage part,” added Father Lee.
The Scottish Episcopal Church became the first Anglican church in the UK to allow same-sex marriages in 2017.
Other Christian denominations in the UK that permit same-sex marriages include the Quakers in Britain, the General Assembly of Unitarian and Free Christian Churches, and the United Reformed Church.
I have even blessing gay unions for well over 30 years.
God is love. And wherever there is love there is God.
When it comes to same sex love why is it that so many people are concentrated on what such couples DO sexually?
Sexual intimacy is only one small aspect of a committed loving relationship – as anybody who has lived in such a relationship will tell you.
Love can never be a sin.
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