An important update regarding the future of wedding ceremonies in England

I know it’s been a while since I’ve been on here! Normal blogging services will resume soon – I promise! In the meantime….

You may have seen the news about this landmark case due to be heard in the High Court where they will hear a challenge by six couples – supported by Humanists UK – against the current prohibition on humanist weddings.

If successful it will enable Humanists UK celebrants to be able to do legal ceremonies is in England, in a similar way to what is already done in Scotland. This is a great step in the right direction! However, as an Independent celebrant I am not included in this action!

The Wedding Celebrant Commission has, for many years, been campaigning for ALL Celebrant-led weddings to be legalised and has been working closely with the Law Commission. This September the Law Commission is expected to present their consultation paper on modernisation of marriage laws which may give an opening for celebrants to legalise weddings. In other words: couples of all beliefs and none would have the option to have a truly unique and personalised legally binding ceremony which reflect their values, spirituality and beliefs, whatever these are – or are not. 

However, Humanists UK only represent a small part of all celebrants. Humanist celebrants work according the values and beliefs of Humanism, which means they won’t lead rituals or elements with a religious or spiritual meaning. I can relate to many of the values they represent such as living an ethical life, but I also believe in honouring the rich tapestry of beliefs that make up our society.  

It is disheartening that the voice of independent celebrants has been excluded when just as much is at stake for them as there is for humanist celebrants. This case is an issue that celebrants all over England and Wales have been campaigning for for some time.

In fact, independent celebrants conduct thousands more ceremonies than humanists while taking into account the faith/religion or belief system of couples whether humanist or not. To exclude the independent voice from this this case and subsequent discussions is to exclude the voices of many thousands of couples. Independent celebrants will perform ceremonies for couples without any restrictions because we want our clients to have flexibility and choice in how they honour and celebrate their commitment to each other. Fairness, dignity and choice are key principles of our democracy which means that in order to hear this case fairly – independent celebrants must also be included. 

The point is, I want the fabulous couples I work with to have a CHOICE in how they honour and legalise their marriage! 

If you’re at all concerned about this case, I encourage you to write to your local MP and add your voice to the thousands of couples and celebrants advocating for freedom of choice and inclusion!

Thanks so much!

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