Marriage registry changes could lead to disestablishment of church and state, fears general synod member


New plans, set to come into force as soon as possible, for Church of England weddings could mean couples would not immediately get a wedding certificate at their service but would sign a wedding ‘document’, which they would then have to get converted into a certificate at a registry office.

The document for the ceremony would have to be prepared by the vicar and the responsibility would be on the couple to take it, or assign someone else to take it, to a registrar within seven days of the wedding. 

The aim is to make the system more efficient and eventually make it more computer-based, but it has been criticised for being snuck-in without the consultation of clergy, worrying many church leaders that they would have to start preparing such documents this year despite having no training so far.



Rev Canon Jonathan Ford, vicar and member of the Church of England’s assembly General Synod, told Premier: “Nobody knows anything about it…I mean, I’ve got weddings this year, people are beginning to ask me have I got to do this now? And there’s no information for the Church. So, we just don’t know when it’s going to come and what we’ve got to do because all 20,000 of us have not been trained or informed or asked so it’s a complete fog and the fact that it’s been announced is causing anxiety, I’m pretty certain, to all the people who’ve got marriages booked for this…

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