Local church opens its doors to same-sex weddings

Local church opens its doors to all weddings

A local woman is seeking to give couples from across Ireland the church wedding of their dreams.

Donna McLaughlin, who lives in Blackrock, last year purchased a disused Presbyterian church in Castlebellingham with a view to hosting marriages and civil ceremonies for those to whom a more ‘traditional’ setting is not available.

“The church was built in 1840 so, as you can imagine, the renovation has been huge”, reflects Donna.

“Also, because of it being a listed building I had to abide by planning office regulations when it came to the restorations, so most of the work has been carried out by heritage craftsmen in that regard.”

While that red tape served to almost double Donna’s intended timeframe, all’s well that ends well. Indeed, having been out of service for almost 20 years, the chapel is almost ready to open its doors.

“It’s nearly complete now and looks really fabulous. The plan from here is to establish ourselves as a general wedding and events venue, all with a view to giving couples who have been excluded from marrying in a chapel for whatever reason the opportunity to have a non-religious ceremony in a church setting.”

“I have been working with couples for the past fifteen years and felt so many were looking for the fairytale wedding and the walk down the aisle but didn't feel like they belonged to any particular church or religion.”

“With that in mind, ‘Woodside Chapel’ will be open to all couples, whether same sex or couples who are remarrying. Since Ireland voted for marriage equality a huge number of same sex couples are coming from other places in the world to legalise their marriage in our beautiful country, so why not offer the full package?”

The venue will host an open day on March 25th and 26th from 2pm-5pm.

visit for more details.

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