Clergy from the Diocese of Liverpool are to provide advice to engaged couples at the Liverpool Wedding Show this month.
Clergy from across the Diocese will attend the Bliss Wedding Show in the Grand Marquee at Knowsley Safari Park
Participation at the January show comes after successful attendance at other Wedding Shows in places such as St George’s Hall in Liverpool.
The Diocese decided to increase its presence at Wedding Shows after the announcement of the Church of England’s Marriage Measures, which make it easier to marry in church.
If a couple can prove one of seven links to the church of their choice, they can marry there.
The C of E has also produced their own website www.yourchurchwedding.org
which outlines the new legislation and provides advice to couples, and has launched The Weddings Project, training events for clergy on the new criteria and the importance of encouraging more weddings in church. Clergy from the Diocese of Liverpool have taken up the challenge enthusiastically and Wedding Show organisers are more than happy to see us at their events.
Hayley Coggins, organiser of the Bliss Wedding Shows said, “We are very honoured to have the Diocese of Liverpool on hand at our Wedding Shows; a church representative is an essential element, particularly for brides and grooms who are planning a church ceremony; it is vital to keep up to date and be informed of the legal formalities of the church. Couples have the opportunity to ask questions about requirements and restrictions or get simple advice and guidance from the church community which can be very valuable and reassuring for the bride and groom and their families.”
Clergy from the Diocese will offer all couples, whether they are getting married in church or not, a booklet of readings for their wedding and a leaflet on blessings and renewals. Those seriously considering a Church of England wedding are also given a Q and A booklet outlining the marriage measures and technical and legal issues, and a booklet of hymns and bible readings.
“At every show, the general consensus is that people are glad we are here,” says Jeremy Fagan from St Martin’s Church in Kirkby, and who regularly takes part in Wedding Shows around the Diocese.
“People comment that amongst all of the frenzy that comes with wedding planning, it is great to have the Church there to give people a sense of perspective and a chance to really think about marriage and not just the ‘big day.’ It also presents us with a fantastic mission opportunity to reach out to people who may not previously have thought they could get married in church.”