For poorer: cost of church weddings to rise 50pc
The cost of marrying in a local parish church is set to soar by almost 50 per cent.
By John Bingham
5:15PM BST 20 Jun 2011
It is the moment when they solemnly pledge to stay together “for richer, for poorer”.
But for couples opting for a traditional church wedding, the reality of that vow could be about to become clear sooner than they expect.
Under new plans set to be approved by the Church of England next month, Couples will to see the basic fee for an Anglican ceremony jump from £284 to £425 even before they consider the cost of extras such as having an organist, bell ringers or a choir.
In many cases the bill could come in several hundred pounds higher when music and flowers are taken into account.
Although the charges vary from church to church, a typical parish church asks for around £100 for the services of a choir, another £90 for the bell ringers, at least £50 for the organist and about £40 for the verger.
I’m not sure of the average cost in a New Zealand Anglican church of a Wedding ceremony, but this recent rise in the cost of a Wedding in an Englaish parish church does seem – to me – to be a little extortionate.
Given that parish church buildings have to be maintained and serviced by mainly congregational means of support, it would seem that wedding couples – especially those who hardly ‘darken the doors’ of the Church, except for the usual family rituals – ought to bear some reaistic responsibility for keeping the church doors open. But – to this extent? One might argue that the Church of England, being established by law, ought make things a bit easier for couples to declare their faithfulness to one another in a Christian Marriage ceremony in the local parish church – except in cases where there is no affiliation to the congregation of that church. However, ‘market forces’ increasingly determine the cultural expectations of people, and perhaps such a hefty increase in fees – in the case of ‘non-adherents’ – might be non unexpected.
Father Ron Smith, Christchurch (presently in the U.K.)