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England's first Scientology wedding


Louisa Hodkin and Alessandro Calcioli were the first couple in England to have a Scientology wedding on Sunday, after a five-year legal fight.

Much like any wedding, the bride wore a traditional white gown and confetti poured over the couple as they exited the chapel. But until December 2013 they were not allowed to marry under the law at the Church of Scientology because it was not considered a place for "religious worship".

Five Supreme Court justices analysed the case at a hearing in London in July 2013 and ruled in their favour, finding it was for religious worship.

On a website created to celebrate their wedding, the couple said: "Scientology can be described in many ways. But most fundamentally it is a religion, and it is our religion."

"We both come from Scientologist families. Scientology was naturally in the background throughout our growing up years – but it was never pushed on us."

After their nuptials, the groom, Mr Calcioli, said he felt: “Just ecstatic — a little bit speechless, just so happy that this day has finally come.”

On their website he explains, "Louisa and I have known one other our whole lives. Our mums are friends and so, born just two months apart we first met at a very early age."

The couple have a baby daughter together, Ayla Rose Calcioli, and when Louisa's brother was legally married in Scotland by a Scientology minister, they had hope and started to work out what would have to be done to get married in their own church in Blackfriars, London.

The ceremony included a reading from Scientology founder and pulp fiction magazines writer L. Ron Hubbard's essay 'What Is Greatness?'

During the vows the couple, who are from West Sussex, were asked, “Is your reality of the love you have such as you will be constantly creating through sickness and adversity as well as good fortune?”

Once the couple exchanged rings - which scientology followers describe as an act representing “time and space without ending” - the minister announced they had completed “the only true marriage”.

In 1970 Scientology launched a similar case, but the Court of Appeal ruled it did not involve religious worship because there was no "veneration of God or of a Supreme Being".



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