Local Chapel celebrates the work of a Chapel Member who helped change the law on same sex weddings
16 April, 2019
Derek McAuley (pictured above), a member of Rosslyn Hill Chapel in Hampstead, will be retiring as Chief Officer of the Unitarian General Assembly at the end of the month, after nine years of service.
He has worked with interfaith groups in London as well as at the national and international level.
He was engaged with the campaign for the law to be passed making same sex weddings legal, along with the Quakers, the Liberal Jews and other liberal religious groups.
In February 2013, he was asked to give evidence in front of the Commons Committee on the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill.
Chapel minister Rev Kate Dean recalls, ‘Derek’s responses were clear and calm. He emphasised our Unitarian support for same sex marriage and explained that the Unitarians had offered blessings to same sex couples for many decades.
He advocated for people in love to be able to marry whatever their sexuality.’ She added, ‘Unitarian congregations enable couples to have a spiritual ceremony in a church which honours their beliefs.
We are very proud of Derek’s part in the marriage equality campaign.’ The law was passed and Rosslyn Hill Chapel was one of the first churches in the borough to conduct a same sex wedding.
Unitarian spiritual communities offer a wide range of activities from inspiring Sunday services drawing on wisdom from different religions and philosophies, to quiet meditation circles and pagan celebrations.