ON 6th May 2012, Warren and I arranged a church blessing after registering our civil partnership. While we were planning it, the UK Government changed the law so we could register our civil partnership in a church – and be the first couple in the UK to do so!
We spoke to the Liverpool Echo for our tenth anniversary about how we met through an LGBT+ Christian group in the city in 2007, and were drawn into conversation by matching shoes!
We describe how we wrote their own blessing service and avoided using any language associated with marriage, yet received negative media coverage when a newspaper claimed it was a marriage, although same-sex marriage was not legal in the UK until 2013.
In 2015, we converted our civil partnership to marriage, and our marriage certificate was back-dated to the date of our civil partnership. We also had a service of thanksgiving at St Bride’s Liverpool, where the first Open Table community began, and the church community provided an amazing bring-and-share buffet!
Warren is now the LGBTQIA+ Ministry Facilitator at St Bride’s Liverpool. I am now the Coordinator of the Open Table Network, which has grown from one community in Liverpool to 24 communities across England and Wales since 2015.
The Open Table journey has been a huge part of our relationship of more than 14 years. We became a couple about six months before the first Open Table community began.