6/15/10

Here Comes the Bride in the C of E



"The Church of England is telling clergy that they must learn to love their wedding congregations — for better or for worse."
At least that's the news from across the pond. For a closer look at what the Church of England is doing to attract more couples to celebrate their weddings in church, take a look at this article in The Sunday Times. But for a look at the original C of E materials, you'll want to look here.

And here are the suggested Seven Heavenly Ways to Welcome Weddings Guests: these are tips for the local vicar.

Judging from the plummeting church wedding statistics reported in the Times article, the situation in the UK is comparable to that in Catholic parishes the Archdiocese of Boston and, I suspect, in many parts of the US.

The C of E approach to engaged couples here isn't unlike the advertising one sees for venues for wedding receptions - they're out to get more customers! To my knowledge, there's no organized consumer-targeted effort like this in any denomination in the US. Although I believe most pastors will tell you from their experience that many engaged couples and their parents approach faith communities for weddings from a decidedly consumerist point of view.

Take a few minutes to follow the links above to the C of E materials and read through them both from the point of view of an engaged couple and that of a pastor.

That's what I've done and my conclusion is that all these tips may not be quite as heavenly as they're touted to be.


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6 comments:

John8com said...

"Although I believe most pastors will tell you from their experience that many engaged couples and their parents approach faith communities for weddings from a decidedly consumerist point of view."

Sadly, and I think we'll agree on this given what I've read here, I think this is very emblematic of more than just weddings.

Brad

Fran said...

I wasn't that surprised to find you relaxed and friendly when I met you!

I can see what they want to do... but I can't say that I like it.

ConcordPastor said...

John8com - you are correct! There's both a tendency for believers to approach their faith communities from a consumer's standpoint and a growing tendency of faith communities to market themselves as to consumers. Which came first?

John8com said...

"Which came first?"

A very good question.

Enjoying your blog.

Brad

Anonymous said...

"....where the vicar throws a wobbly...."

Love it!

Rosemary

korinthe said...

I found the C of E site kind of creepy.

Although, the prayer card seems pleasant. Were these given out at rites other than funerals, in the American churches? (I've only received them at funerals)