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Wedding couples can be 'Posh and Becks for a day'

26 October 2012

by a staff reporter


Glamour tie: David and Victoria Beckham attend the wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton, at Westminster Abbey, in April last year 

Glamour tie: David and Victoria Beckham attend the wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton, at Westminster Abbey, in April last year 

PRIESTS have been advised to let wedding couples personalise their service, so that, if they want to, they can be "like Posh and Becks for one day".

The Church Weddings Handbook: The seven pastoral moments that matter*, the fruit of the Archbishop's Council's Weddings Project, describes the findings of the project, and suggests ways to make contact with, and continue to nurture, couples before and after their wedding day.

Allowing couples to make the service "special" to them made a huge difference in whether the couple were interested in returning to church afterwards, researchers for the project found.

Of those couples who did not feel free to personalise the service, four per cent said that they were likely to come back; and of those who were allowed to customise the service, 13 per cent said that they were very interested in getting more involved with the church.

The area of personalisation can bring some priests "out in a cold sweat", the project found. But other clergy said that it was hard to get couples to realise that the church could be flexible.

Photographers could be one area of tension between the priest and the couple, but the Bishop of Jarrow, the Rt Revd Mark Bryant, said: "I've worked with couples over the years for whom life has been quite difficult, and their wedding is one day of their lives when they will have people photographing them. They'll be like Posh and Becks for just one day. And I think God can cope with that. And if God can cope with that, it's probably up to me to try to cope with it as well."

The priest played a significant part in shaping a couple's attitude to marrying in church, researchers found. "People do make this distinction between their local church, 'my church', and the Church with the capital C. And it's the vicars who make the difference."

*Church House Publishing, £12.99 (CT Bookshop £11.70 - Use code CT895 ); 978-0-7151-4287-5.

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