Thousands of bogus weddings may have taken place in Anglican ceremonies throughout the country, an investigation by The Sunday Telegraph has uncovered.
One vicar said he had been instructed by the Church to conduct marriages even after he warned officials that he believed they were bogus.
A senior Government source accused Church officials of failing to take sufficient steps to stop bogus marriages, which can grant foreigners the right to stay in Britain and claim benefits.
The investigation found that the issuing of marriage licences, required for foreigners to marry in church, has almost trebled in five years. Church figures show that the number of common licences issued rose from 1,650 in 2004 to 4,632 last year. Read more