Clergy tell us why wedding shows are so important to developing wedding ministry across the diocese.
Wedding Shows are a key tool in helping us develop our Wedding Ministry. They also provide excellent experience for curates in dealing with engaged couples planning their wedding. Our Wedding Show stand offers couples space to ask questions in an informal atmosphere. We also offer four specially-designed pieces of literature featuring FAQ's, Bible readings and information on renewal of vows.
Even couples that are not marrying in church can take away of booklet of readings and information on blessings, and all couples are given the opportunity to fill in a prayer card and be prayed for on their wedding day.
Rev Helen Coffey took part in her first Wedding Show at St George's Hall, Liverpool, this September. She said: “For me, it was just a great opportunity to find out what perceptions people had of the church when it came time to planning what they saw as the most important day of their lives. Why get married in church when there are so many other venues on offer? What makes it different? It was great because they were in control of the encounter, they could ask any questions they wanted, and we had some amazing conversations with people.
“I was interested in why people did or didn’t choose church weddings, and what contributed to them making that decision. Lots of couples didn’t choose church because they thought they were not eligible - quite a number said that they would have chosen church if they'd known more about what was available. Lots were also very interested to hear about blessings following civil weddings here and abroad. Most interesting for me were the conversations with couples who shyly said that they would like a church wedding but didn’t want to be hypocritical - what an amazing mission opportunity for their local church!
“Attending the wedding Show has given me confidence when having conversations with couples booking a church wedding, because it has allowed me to get into their wedding planning mindset in a helpful way.”
Rev June Asquith has taken part in Wedding Shows at St George's Hall and Knowsley Safari Park. She said: "The Wedding Show is a great opportunity for mission. You can engage with people in an easy way and show that the church is interested in them and their wedding. I think it's a really fun and positive way to connect.
"The vast majority of people are delighted when we offer to pray for their wedding, regardless of whether it's in church or not. They also find the leaflets we hand out very useful, giving them ideas for what they can include in their special day, again regardless of church or not. I've really enjoyed the experience and would recommend it to other clergy."