September 2017 – Tis the season to get Married


I am writing this letter right in the middle of our peak season for weddings, in fact I officiated at one this afternoon at St Savour’s.  So what, you may ask? 


Well we hear so much in the press about the fall in marriage rates, the trend to people not bothering to get married, I think it is heartening that young people are still wanting to make that commitment, and to make it before God in one of our churches.  Many in our congregations have celebrated Golden Weddings in the last couple of years, and that is an amazing achievement.  When they got married, there were not many places you could get married, church or Registry Office were the options, but now the world is your oyster when it comes to marriage venues.  Hotels, castles, even football grounds are available.  And so it is really great when young couples decide to come to us to make those important and hopefully life-long vows.


Many of those who come to us, don’t have a background of attending church, so are they just using us because it is a pretty place?  I would argue that, even if that is the case, it doesn’t do any harm, and is deeply missional, as for around an hour, one of our churches is full of people who wouldn’t otherwise come, and have the opportunity to see it isn’t a scary place, and hopefully get an opportunity to experience Christ’s love in their hearts.   


Archbishop Temple is famous for saying “The Church is the only society that exists for the benefit of those who are not its members.”  Weddings and funerals are two perfect examples of this maxim, when we serve our community, showing them the love Christ has lavished on us.


Every wedding is a bit different, from the ultra-organised, lavish wedding, with hundreds of matching bridesmaids, to the simple wedding organised on a desperately tight budget. The common theme in all of them that I have found, is that wonderful sense of love, excitement and expectation the couples feel.  Although many of our couples have now lived together, they understand that this will be different, things won’t be the same, they are making a huge commitment, and how wonderful it is that they chose to trust us with that massive day in their lives.


Many couples choose the 13th chapter of the first letter of St Paul to the Corinthians as the scripture reading, and I think its last line sums up how these couples approach that day.


And now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love.  Deeply in love they may be, but they must approach the day with faith, and hope.  Faith in each other, (and we hope in God), but also hope that their commitment will last, will be strong, will deal with life’s ups and downsWe can’t know and neither really can they.


But, how wonderful would it be if some, or even many of our couples this year, achieved the milestone so many in our congregations have, and celebrate their Golden Weddings in 2067. 


Malcolm Wearing