Wendy and Nicole Hendry have finally been married – by the church they love.
Eleven years ago the couple celebrated a commitment ceremony, and have now legally been wed within the church.
Uniting Church Minister, Rev Elenie Poulos conducted the wedding of Wendy and Nicole, regular attendees of Margaret River Uniting Church, on Saturday 27 October. This was the first wedding between two people of the same-sex to be officially performed by a church in Western Australia.
At its national decision making meeting held in July, the Uniting Church in Australia decided to hold two equal and distinct statements of belief on marriage to honour the diversity of Christian belief among Uniting Church members. Since then, the church has published an additional marriage liturgy that will allow same-gender couples to get married in Uniting Churches, for those congregations that choose to host them.
This has paved the way for couples like Wendy and Nicole, who have always longed to have a church wedding, to celebrate their special day.
“The Uniting Church has been and continues to be an important part of our life. We have many family and friends who are an active part of the life of this church, and with the recent changes in regards to marriage, it reinforces we are part of a faith community that embraces love and equality. We already know we love each other and are committed to each other, but there is a special meaning for us to be legally married within the rites of the Uniting Church, by a mentor and friend, surrounded by our children, family and friends,” Wendy said.
Elenie was honoured to conduct the wedding.
“It is a privilege to be able to celebrate Wendy and Nicole’s wedding,” she said. “The Uniting Church has a long history of working for justice. Its decision to allow same-sex marriage is one it should be proud of. It marks the church’s commitment to the full inclusion of LGBTIQ people. This is a joyous occasion that celebrates God’s love for all people.”
Victoria Park and Districts Star Street Uniting Church recently hosted a celebration for the announcement of its decision to conduct same-sex marriages on its premises.
Fiona Bentley, chairperson of Star St Church Council was delighted with the decision.
“We are so proud to announce that this building is available for weddings for the happy and blessed marriages of same-sex couples.”