The issue of same-sex marriage deeply divides the Christian Church. Recent legal changes in the UK have made it possible for Churches to conduct same sex marriage, but does not compel them to do so - the decision is left up to the appropriate authority of the Church concerned.
Some Churches have decided at national level not to permit same-sex marriages; this includes the Church of England and the Methodist Church.
Two Churches in the UK have decided to conduct same sex marriages - the Society of Friends (Quakers) and the Unitarian Church, and the Scottish Episcopal Church has started discussions.
Some Churches allow many decisions to be made at local level by individual congregations- this includes the Baptist Union and the United Reformed Church.
In 2016 the United Reformed Church decided that the conduct of same-sex marriages was a matter which could be decided by local congregations, and the Baptist Union also confirmed that the historic independence of its congregations included the freedoem to make this decision at local level.
On 13th December 2016 the Church Meeting of Chorlton Central Church (Baptist and URC) voted unanimously to conduct Same-Sex Marriages.
Unfortunately this decision does not take effect immediately, as the premises need to be re-registered with the Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages; this is a rather complex process which will take some time. However some time in 2017 we expect to be able to conduct same-sex mariages in a religious ceremony. In the meantime we remain willing to conduct blessings of Civil Same-Sex Marriages and Civil Partnerships, for which no legal registration is required.
completely re-written 17 Dec 2016