A gay couple have become the first clergymen to have a civil partnership in Britain.

Paul and Brizz Miles-Knight, a layman and a priest, had a ceremony on the bank holiday weekend, with the backing of the United Episcopal Church, set up for those who have lost faith with Roman Catholicism and Anglicanism.

The Portsmouth based ministers met on the internet. Paul, 40, was in a broken down marriage when he met his partner, Brizz, 33.

Brizz, a former Anglican, told the Portsmouth News, “We believe society has moved on hugely from the days where people took the Bible literally, banning homosexuality and advocating stoning adulterers to death.

“As clergymen, Paul and I love each other and wanted to show the world with this civil partnership.”

Their ceremony was witnessed by 20 friends and family.