Saturday, 23 May 2020
I am sorry that it has been some time since I last wrote to you about the current situation regarding weddings in church. As you will realise, there has been a lot of confusion and misinformation that has taken some time to unravel. During this time I have had Zoom meetings with several couples during which a range of issues have been discussed. These have been very helpful because they have given me some measure of where the main areas of concern lie at the moment.
I have no doubt that you have all been listening to ministerial pronouncements and media reports carefully. The way some of these have been presented has added to the confusion and uncertainty because of the speculative nature of their content. I am afraid that the reality is that absolutely nothing has changed to date. The total closure of churches for weddings is still in place, and there are no plans for that state of affairs to be changed in the near future. Furthermore, it has become evident to the church leaders that when weddings are allowed in church again there will continue to be severe restrictions in place for some time – whatever they may finally turn out to be.
I realise that this news brings little comfort to those of you who had hoped and planned to celebrate your weddings in 2020. I also realise that those who have either planned there weddings for 2021 or who have transferred their weddings from this year are beginning to realise that the uncertainty will probably not be alleviated for some considerable time. This is, obviously, totally out of my control, just as it is out of the control of many of almost all the decision makers at the moment.
I know that some of you are struggling with issues surrounding the biggest day of your life. You are all constantly held in my thoughts and prayers. I can only ask that you take comfort in the fact that you are far from alone in this unprecedented dilemma.
So … how can we move forward and create a strategy for easing the anxiety?
First, I would urge you all to make contact with me so that we can meet via Zoom and have some sort of face to face discussion. Each couple has a different set of issues and are handling them in different ways. I hope that by talking these through we might find some peace, albeit only in the short term. Secondly, and in association with my proposed Zoom meetings. The best way to arrange these is for you to email me a few dates and times which would be convenient to you. I am involved in a lot of meetings at Diocesan and Deanery level but, by offering me a few alternatives I can usually find a way of accommodating myself to your availability – I’m certainly not going anywhere else at the moment!! Thirdly, and finally, please take heart that you will be married! The day will come! Even if the big day has to be reshaped in some way – there is a workable alternative waiting for you!
I am sorry this letter cannot bring a more immediate solution to your situation. But, do please make contact and let us have that meeting soon.
With every blessing to you all,