Mary Portas claims Catholic priest refused to baptise son she had with lesbian partner

The Queen of Shops presenter said he was unsure of her civil partnership

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Mary Portas had an unusual request from one Catholic priest after he refused to baptise her son with lesbian partner Melanie Rickey.

Speaking about the incident as she read excerpts from her memoir Shop Girl at the Hay Festival in Wales, she said of her decision to have Horatio, now two, baptised in a Catholic ceremony: “I couldn't believe it, my older kids thought we were mad.”

“In the church I went up with Horatio to the priest in the baptist class and I could see he was just uncomfortable.

“I wanted him to know that we were the parents and was he comfortable with that.

“I felt bad because I was stressing him out but I wanted to stand my ground. He said: ‘I'm not baptising you’.

“Well that was it I stood up and said: ‘I can't do this’.”


But the Mary Queen of Shops presenter had a change of heart when she passed the church a second time while out walking her dog one day.

“I passed the church and I had to go and see him,” Wales Online quoted her as saying.

“He wasn't there so I left him my phone number. And he rang me. I told him I was disappointed.

“And he wrote me back this lovely letter and he just asked me to pray for him.

“The baptism just wasn't meant to be.”

Portas revealed in February that her younger brother Lawrence Newton was the genetic father of her son.

Her partner Rickey, 42, gave birth to their first child in 2012 following IVF treatment.

“With baptism, you unite the new faithful to the People of God,” the Pope told 19 new priests of Rome during their ordination in April. “It is never necessary to refuse baptism to someone who asks for it.”