The first official Scientology wedding in England took place Sunday February 23 at the Scientology Church at 146 Queen Victoria Street, London.
For most couples, having a wedding is a relatively straightforward affair. Not so for Louisa Hodkin and Alessandro Calcioli. For them, getting married in their chosen place of worship—a Scientology chapel—included overcoming a legal ruling that prevented Scientology Churches from being registered as places of worship.
“All weddings should be magical and momentous for the couple concerned,” stated Louisa and Alessandro before the wedding, “but we are conscious that ours, as the first for our religion in England, has its own place in history. It has been a long, five-year battle to achieve a simple freedom—the right to marry in our own church with a service in accordance with the rites and customs of our religion and surrounded by our friends and family.
“We are pleased and proud that our victory brings to an end inequality and unfairness, not just for Scientologists, but for people of all faiths—because the supreme court have now provided a definitive description of what a religion is, which had not existed before in English law.”
Five years ago Louisa started a quest to overcome a Court of Appeal ruling from 1970 that prevented Scientology Churches from being officially registered under the Places of Worship Registration Act 1855. This culminated in December 2013 with a ruling by the United Kingdom Supreme Court overturning the 1970 decision and bringing the legal understanding of religion, religious worship and religious discrimination into the 21st century.
The couple streamed their wedding from a website created to memorialize the occasion. The website title, www.allowed.uk.com, has a double meaning—their wedding was “allowed” by the UK Supreme Court and the first two letters, “al,” stands for the groom, Alissandro Calciole, the next two, “lo,” for the bride, Louisa Hodkin — and they have now been “wed.”
We extend our congratulations to the happy couple and wish them well in their future life together. This is an historic day for religious equality and freedom for all in the UK.
A video of the ceremony can be seen at the bottom of the couple’s website.
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