Gay couple who were turned away from more than 30 churches finally have their happy wedding
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A gay couple who were turned down by 31 churches have finally married in front of their friends, family, and God.
Shane Yerrell, 39, and David Sparrey, 30 from Essex, are both Christians who go to church.
All they wanted was a church wedding, but it took a long time before they could find a venue to host their nuptials.
The couple had already been knocked back by dozens of churches, who all refused to host their same-sex wedding.
As per the good book itself, 'God is love'. That comes from 1 John chapter four verse seven, for those playing at home.
But it seems those 31 churches haven't read the book of John or at least didn't observe that passage.
Shane, who is deputy mayor for Waltham Abbey and a councillor for Epping Forest, said he then spent up to 15 hours on the phone trying to find a venue.
That was until they found Reverend Dr Tessa Henry-Robsinson of Wanstead United Reformed Church.
"Honestly, I'd all but given up," Shane said.
"But when I spoke to [Reverend] Tessa I was literally shouting with joy and jumping round the room.
"David didn't believe me."
He added: "When we met Tessa she said, 'I can see you love each other, love is love'. It was the most amazing feeling."
"She said, 'Everyone deserves to marry the person they love' - and she's right."
The happy couple was finally able to marry on October 21.
David reflected on his big day with his now-husband Shane, calling it the 'perfect wedding'.
"It was a day I'll never forget. We were surrounded by so much love on the day," he said.
"We were over the moon when the church agreed to marry us. Everything felt complete."
He added: "I had hoped Shane's patience and determination would pay off and it did."
Shane had a message for other LGTBQI+ people who share their dream of a church wedding.
"Gay people just don't think it is possible, but if you are a same-sex couple and you want to get married in a church just don't give up," he said.
"I think a lot of churches are frightened of a backlash - people saying it isn't what the Bible says."
He added: "But I think they could find a way of interpreting that for themselves and making it possible, after all, love is love no matter whether you're gay or straight."
Same-sex marriage was legalised in the UK in 2013, however many churches still refuse to host services for same-sex couples.