on Thursday, 5 June 2008 at 11.41 am by Simon Sarmiento
categorised as Church of England
Press release: Wider wedding welcome for couples as the Church of England names the day
The day is 1 October 2008.
Marriage Law Review & the Marriage Measure
Guidance from the House of Bishops (PDF – 37 pages)
Copy of the legislation via here (available as html or PDF).
Specimen “welcome form” (.doc – 5 pages) available here.
Its all a bit desperate – the stately homes, country houses and so on appear to be winning the day.
Sensible vicars marry other couples without the requisite connections in any case, but generally, the only ones asked to do so are the incumbents of pretty churches which will look good on the photo!
Let me guess: a “wider welcome” to opposite-sex couples only?
Lord, bring an end to all hypocrisy and double-standards in your Church!
I welcome this widening which will help us, busy as we are, to welcome more couples here. But I do have some questions in relation to the Ecumenical aspects of this which cause me concern. We are an LEP, and until now it has not made a significant difference to people’s legal rights or standing whether I have conducted a wedding or baptism, or whether the service has been conducted by a Methodist colleague. Now it does. Of course people married or baptised will normally also qualify by residence or regular worship criteria, but with the wider setting, and people… Read more »
“But new laws, initiated by the Church of England and now approved by Parliament, will add to this right of residency, making it just as easy for couples to marry in a church where they have a family or other special connection, even if they don’t live there.” I await the conservative outcry that this demeans the sacrament of matrimony since what is required is not any degree of Christian faith or commitment, merely the desire to have the white wedding society says you should have in the prettiest church around. But these are heterosexuals, so why they want to… Read more »
When I say, as I do when I conduct a marriage service, that ‘marriage is a gift of God in creation’ I declare that marriage is not special before God because it is between christians, but because it is marriage, and marriage is a gift of God – that is part of my christian understanding of what marriage is.
Mark, I am actually more conservative about marriage in some ways. I hold no opinion on SSBs, but Paul clearly thinks marriage is a poor second, to be entered into only when one does not have the charism of celebacy. Thus, the Church’s reversal of this understanding in Issues was odd to me. Celebacy is the charism, not marriage. I would limit marriage solely to believers, first of all. Why have people make vows they at best consider non-binding before a God they don’t believe in in front of a congregation whose faith they have little regard for? I honestly… Read more »
Ford I’d say that you are mixing up and distorting Paul somewhat (he says much more about marriage than you suggest, and the Bible says much more than Paul), and also confusing an eschatalogical understanding of relationships (Jesus says that in the resurrection there is neither marriage nor giving in marriage, and I’d put singleness/celibacy as a vocation with an eschatalogical signification) with a Biblical understanding of this-worldly relationships. But there we are, we disagree. But I disagree for a different reason with your suggestion that there is something sham or dishonest about non-christians getting married in Church. Because I… Read more »
The LEP bit, Mark Bennet, had slipped completely down the leg side. I should have seen it when I read the bishops’ guidelines, shouldn’t I?
Genesis 2:18 “The LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” God is a relational being, and God knows that it is not good to be alone. However, for many Christians (and some other faiths), God is only masculine. So God must be alone. Hmm. I wonder if God “who made us in his image” has a wife? Does he have sex with her? Probably not at the moment, after all Jesus is the complete and perfect fulfillment of God, and Jesus has no mate, and God… Read more »
Couples are required to declare previous marriages, and discuss the “special issues” arising if the former spouse is still alive. A note to this declaration states: “The law also forbids a person who has entered into a civil partnership to enter into a marriage while the civil partnership is still subsisting.” Couples are not required to declare any previous civil partnerships on the form, but what would happen if the minister was aware of one? Would the circumstances of the dissolution, unreasonable behaviour, say, be discussed with the minister? Or would a blind eye be turned? As civil partnerships are… Read more »
“for many Christians (and some other faiths), God is only masculine.” “I wonder if God “who made us in his image” has a wife?” This is anthropomorphic: God is either male or female, or requires a “female compliment” in some sense. No. God made US in His own image, “male and female created He them”. It is us as humans, not as men or women, that God made, and it is that humanity that is in His image. Does this idea of the female AND male within the godhead in Whose image we are made have something to say about… Read more »