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Former priest Philip Clements marries male model partner Florin Marin

By Eleanor Perkins

A retired Eastry vicar has married his male model partner in a small ceremony saying he was a “human first before a priest”.

The Rev Philip Clements, 78, who grew up in Deal, wed Florin Marin, 24, at Ramsgate Registry Office, this morning.

In the presence of two guests, they exchanged vows before being declared Mr and Mr Marin-Clements.

VIDEO: Some parts of the wedding didn't exactly go to plan...

Speaking afterwards, Philip said: “Is it real? Has it happened? Is it a dream? It’s a special day.”

His new husband however said it was just a “normal day”.

“It doesn’t change absolutely nothing (sic),” said Florin.

Florin Marin and Philip Clements on their wedding day
Florin Marin and Philip Clements on their wedding day

“Our life will be the same as it was yesterday but it’s been a nice day.”

Since the couple went public with their engagement in March, they have been calling on the Church of England to change its policy on same sex marriage.

In February 2014, the House of Bishops declared that clergy cannot enter same sex marriages. Civil partnerships are allowed but must remain celibate.

Philip said: “I think the Church of England should be more consistent.

“If it expects people, clergy, to live with a same gender partner without intimacy, i.e. be celibate, I think there’s something a little bit unsatisfactory about that and it puts a strain on both partners.”

Philip Clements and Florin Marin during the ceremony
Philip Clements and Florin Marin during the ceremony

Having married his partner of two-years, the former Dover Grammar School pupil says he now plans to attend the orthodox church.

He said: “I still love certain aspects of the church I’ve been brought up in and I’m sorry that they can’t use me anymore or accept me as I am anymore, but that’s the church’s position.”

Philip, who was once the chaplain of St Bart’s Hospital, Sandwich, said he didn’t want to comment on previous claims that he was comparable to Judas.

He said: “I’m sorry if people are offended especially my friends but this is my human nature.

“I’m human first before I was a priest.”

Florin added: “We don’t want the church and the church don’t want to discuss our subject.”

The newlyweds are due to continue their celebrations at evening reception with more friends at the Five Bells in Eastry, before returning to their new apartment in Romania tomorrow.

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