The world’s oldest Methodist church has voted unanimously to allow same-sex marriage ceremonies.
John Wesley, the evangelist and founder of the Methodist movement, founded the New Room in 1739 as a meeting place for Methodists.
For nearly 300 years, John Wesley’s New Room has served as a multi-purpose building for the local community, including housing a museum.
To coincide with Bristol Pride, the Broadmead Chapel has announced that it will begin officiating same-sex weddings.
After voting in favor, the Methodist church became the second-largest religious denomination in the UK to allow same-sex marriages in 2021.
The motion called for the definition of marriage to be changed to “a lifelong union in body, mind, and spirit of two people who freely enter it.”
Ministers will be able to conduct weddings for LGBTQ+ couples living in Bristol in the New Room’s buildings beginning Thursday. The motion was approved unanimously.
The Church of England currently prohibits same-sex marriages.
Reverend Mandy Briggs, the chapel’s education officer and authorized representative, stated:”Our decision to register John Wesley’s New Room as a venue for same-sex marriages is the latest step in our journey as an ally to the LGBTQIA+ community.”
“The chapel has been a venue for Christian services at Bristol Pride since 2018, so this registration feels like the logical next step.”To commemorate the 2022 celebrations, the church is also hosting a rainbow service for LGBTQ+ Christians to “celebrate Pride through their faith.”
On July 9, attendees are encouraged to wear purple, bring placards, and join the Pride march from Castle Park.