Letter to wedding couples, 16 June 2020

Read a letter dated 16 June 2020 from Revd Stephen to all couples planning weddings in the Corby Glen Group of Parishes

To all couples planning weddings
in the Corby Glen Group of Parishes

Tuesday, 16 June 2020

Dear Friends,

You may have heard through the national media that the Church of England has issued an update regarding Weddings in Churches. This statement has been issued today because we are now at that point in the year when the peak wedding season normally begins.

As you will be aware from recent announcements, the Government and the Church of England have issued guidance on the possibility of churches opening for private prayer and small funerals. Alongside this guidance the media has indulged in a lot of ill-informed speculation about wedding services. I am afraid that there has been no change regarding the conduct of weddings.

The Church’s latest statement begins by reminding us that: church weddings … are still not permitted at present – under the Government’s restrictions to prevent the spread of Coronavirus.

As well as the idle speculation of recent days, there has also been talk of ‘Porch weddings’ and ‘Outdoor weddings’ being a possible way forward. As I have said to those who have contacted me about these options – they are the fantasy of journalists. Medieval porch weddings (how do you socially distance in a church porch?) and outdoor weddings are not legal. In this country all weddings have to take place in a building that is registered for the conduct of marriages. This has been enshrined in marriage law since the 1860s. If there were plans to change this state of affairs, they would have to begin with new legislation.

I am sorry that my personal update to you has to be so focused on the negative but I do know that some of you are still hoping to be married in 2020. As soon as I receive guidance on how that may become possible I will write to you – I promise! In the meantime, I am happy to continue meeting with couples via Zoom. I am also happy to take your emails and telephone calls. Please do not feel that you have been abandoned. I really do feel the upset and confusion as the planned ‘Big Day’ slips further and further into the future. You are all very much in my thoughts and prayers.

With all good wishes and every blessing to you all,

Revd Stephen