Gloucestershire chapel votes to conduct same sex marriages

A TINY chapel has become the first church in the Cam and Dursley area to agree to conduct same sex marriage ceremonies.

The Quarry Chapel in Cam registered to marry same-sex couples last month after church members voted in favour of the move.

Minister the Rev Simon Helme said: “Jesus was a man of radical inclusion and we at the Quarry have a vision of being a safe place where people regardless of their faith or no faith, know that they are truly welcome.

“The vote on same-sex marriages illustrates that while the Quarry is a beautiful old building, it is also a church seeking to live out its faith today, in the 21st century context.”

As well as offering the United Reformed Church chapel as a venue for same sex marriages, there are plans to develop it as a community wellbeing centre.

The Quarry’s development worker, Abi Nicol said: “Myself, the church members and community members are forming a committee to develop the chapel enabling both worship and wellbeing activities to take place.”

The group sees the chapel’s role as ‘helping to develop community identity and cohesion’.

With this in mind, a £90k appeal has been launched, to help make the 150 year-old old church fully accessible and add new toilets and an upgraded kitchen.

A series of successful community initiatives, including the 3D advent calendar, I-Spy Cam and Dursley books, Cam and Dursley photographic rainbows and the pop-up creative cafes have recently been held at the site.

Abi said she would like to build on these successes and expand the range of activities on offer.

She said: “It is so exciting to finally be able to come together again as a community and we have a vision of how this little building can become a powerful place of connection.

“Many people speak fondly of the chapel as a place of peace and beauty in an area where there are few community facilities.

“The improvements will ensure that everyone can access the chapel and we can host a wider range of events.

“I hope people will join with us on this journey as we seek to secure and enhance the Quarry Chapel’s role in bringing people together after the shared experience of the trauma of Covid. We believe the wellbeing centre will offer our local community a wealth of support and opportunities.”

To donate to the Quarry Chapel fundraiser visit: crowdfunder.co.uk/the-quarry-chapel

Forthcoming activities at the chapel include worship, coffee mornings, art and craft sessions, and mindful movement.

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