Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Couples allowed to marry in any church

[...] The Ven Jan McFarlane, Archdeacon of Norwich, said the Church should be more welcoming to couples getting married and compete with other wedding venues.

She said she had seen "queues" of people at wedding shows hoping to get married in hotels.

"If we say `no' for whatever reason, we turn people away, we have lost them because they have 101 other places to go,” she added.

"On the other hand if we welcome them, and their family and friends, and they have magnificent day then who knows where it will lead.”

Some of the churches likely to be in demand include St Mary's in the gardens of Sudeley Castle, where Liz Hurley and Arun Nayar married, or St Mary the Virgin in Turville, Buckinghamshire, the setting for The Vicar of Dibley.

There has been a sharp fall in the number of people opting for a church ceremony over the last decade.

Since 1994, the number of civil weddings in "approved premises" has risen to more than 50,000 a year, while Church of England marriages have dropped by 40 per cent over 10 years to about 55,000. Read more

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