Thinking Anglicans

Law Commission consults on wedding law

The Law Commission has issued a public consultation paper on reforming the law in England and Wales relating to the conduct of weddings. The press release is here.

The consultation paper is here:
Getting Married: A Consultation Paper on Weddings Law.
The consultation questionnaire is linked from this page.
Links to Welsh versions and other related documents are here.

The consultation document is very long indeed, but there is a helpful precis of what it is about here:
Law & Religion UK Reforming wedding law in England & Wales.

There are some media reports here:
Church Times Law Commission suggests sweeping marriage reforms
Religion Media Centre Wedding reform proposals allow humanist legally binding ceremonies

And there is some theological comment on the topic by Nicholas Henshall at Via Media Worldly Weddings – To Bless or Not to Bless?

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Nigel LLoyd
Nigel LLoyd
14 days ago

The ‘Christian’ position on marriage in Denmark (for example) is that marriage is a matter of how society organizes itself and it is, therefore, a secular matter. The Lutheran Church insists that there is no such thing as a ‘Doctrine of Marriage’. It will be interesting to see how the Church of England engages in this consultation. It would be easy to think that our present position on marriage is THE Christian view. It is not. Different views on marriage can be found in different Christian traditions and there is a sharp divergence between (for example) the Western Church and… Read more »

Kate
Kate
13 days ago
Reply to  Nigel LLoyd

Nigel, thank you. One of the best things I have read on TA.

Fr Keith
Fr Keith
13 days ago
Reply to  Nigel LLoyd

And thanks from me, too, Nigel, for this clear piece.

William
William
13 days ago
Reply to  Nigel LLoyd

’Marriage is a matter of how society organises itself’
Presumably this would be the Danish Lutheran position on most things. One wonders if they have anything distinctively Christian to say now.

R White
R White
12 days ago
Reply to  William

Martin and Katerina Luther themselves made their vows outside the church door, before entering the church for a blessing.

Simon Dawson
Simon Dawson
11 days ago
Reply to  William

If my understanding is correct, the church had little control over how marriage was arranged in most European countries for most of the past 2000 years. Just because the church claims one thing now, does not mean that the church has always claimed that.

Bernard Silverman
Bernard Silverman
13 days ago

The consultation paper is long and carefully argued, and contains 91 detailed questions. It could offer the Church of England the opportunity to reset its attitude to weddings, for example (question 48) while still encouraging marriages in church buildings,be prepared to conduct ceremonies anywhere, and (question 45) whether to actively encourage and facilitate “religious content … in civil wedding ceremonies” and indeed provide ” specific examples of religious content”, and so on. The whole tenor of the document seems to me to be giving marriage back to the people, by allowing couples as much choice as possible in the way they… Read more »

RPNewark
RPNewark
12 days ago

… Answers on a very small postcard, one suspects.

Why waste money on the postcard? The back of the stamp should suffice.

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