Who are Shane Yerrell and David Sparrey? Meet the gay couple refused in 31 churches Explained

A gay couple who requested a church wedding claimed they were turned down by 31 venues, but they were eventually permitted to exchange vows in a sacred space. Let’s see Who Shane Yerrell and David Sparrey are and about why they were turned down by 31 churches in detail.

Who are Shane Yerrell and David Sparrey?

A gay couple who applied for a religious wedding 31 times was finally accepted, and they declare themselves to be “overjoyed.”

Last month, Waltham Abbey, Essex residents Shane Yerrell, 39, and David Sparrey, 30, were married in Wanstead, East London.

Shane Yerrell (pictured, left) and David Sparrey (pictured, right)

Originally, the gay couple had intended to wait to get married, but they changed their minds after learning about a health condition in the family.

They allege that after calling venues, they were turned down a startling 31 times despite having always desired a church wedding.

Fortunately, Wanstead United Reformed Church was accepted on the 32nd try, and the gay couple was allowed to wed on October 21 in front of loved ones.

The Ceremony

Following a ceremony at Wanstead United Reformed Church, the gay couple, who are both devout Christians, were finally able to exchange vows.

Shane, a councillor for Epping Forest and the deputy mayor of Waltham Abbey, admitted: ‘Honestly, I’d all but given up. But when I spoke to [Reverend] Tessa I was literally shouting with joy and jumping round the room. David refused to believe me.”

‘Everyone deserves to marry the person they love

When the gay couple 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 day was so special. That church was a light at the end of a tunnel. They are so brave and we will always be so grateful to them.”

“It really wasn’t easy but it was more than worth it all. We thought it would never happen. It was like [the churches] were all reading a script – ‘We’d love to, but no.”

The Couple with their bridal party.

How did the couple meet?

In 2014, the gay couple were introduced through a mutual acquaintance, and by 2016, they were dating.

Subsequently, while on a family vacation in Crete, electrical engineer David got down on one knee and proposed. The pair then moved their wedding up by two years.

Both men were bent on having a church wedding because they are devout Christians who go to church every six weeks.

The Wedding

David was the first to enter the aisle with his 56-year-old mother, Dawn Bond.

And grandmother Iris Markham, 79, and Shane’s mother Maria Markham, 58, gave him away.

To witness the happy nuptials, more than 100 people packed the church, and an additional 40 joined the celebration at Waltham Abbey Town Hall.

David said:

“It was a day I’ll never forget. We were surrounded by so much love on the day. It was the perfect wedding.”

“We were over the moon when the church agreed to marry us. Everything felt complete. I had hoped Shane’s patience and determination would pay off and it did.”

Shane added:

“It was so moving, overwhelming – I could hardly believe it. It really was the most special moment.”

“We had done it and we hadn’t had to settle for something we wanted less. I’m delighted we’re part of that church’s history, we’ve made friends for life.”

“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.”

“I think a lot of churches are frightened of a backlash – people saying it isn’t what the bible says.”

“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.”

A Proud Moment

Reverend Henry-Robinson spoke to the wedding as “a proud moment” for Wanstead United Reformed Church.

It is a proud time for us at Wanstead United Reformed Church to be the first to share this wonderful news with its community, Reverend Henry-Robinson said in an interview with MyLondon.

Same-sex marriage legalities in UK

In the UK, same-sex unions were made legal in 2013, and the first unions occurred in the beginning of 2014.

However, the Church of England website states that the legislation forbids its ministers from performing same-sex unions.

It continues by saying that even if there aren’t any official services for blessing a same-sex civil union, your local church can nevertheless offer spiritual support.

“The LGBT community often lives in the belief that it is not possible to get married in church. We show that it is not true: anyone who wants to get married in church should not give up – Shane explained -. we are happy to be able to tell something like this. Special.”

We wish Shane Yerrell and David Sparrey the very best as they prepare to move into their next stage of life as Couple.Keep checking back for the most recent updates by staying tuned to us.


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