Wedding fairs: playing host

by
03 March 2017

Write, if you have any answers to the questions listed at the end of this section, or would like to add to the answers below

iStock

Your answers
Is there a legal reason that churches don’t advertise at wedding fairs? The public are beginning to think that they can’t get married in churches. This is an absurd situa­tion. [Answers, 20 January]

 

Another response — only available to certain churches I know — is to host the fair itself. We were inspired by Ripon Ca­­thedral’s wedding fairs, and realised that our huge and flex­ible space would be ideal. Aisles make great catwalks. We found that exhibitors, jaded by their usual venues, re­­sponded enthusiastically to being in our stunning architec­ture. They even coped with its not being warm. Sixty stalls became 80 the next time.

As the host, we had a stall for free, and could speak to all the ex­­hib­­itors and visitors. Above all, the venue reminded people that church was an option for their wed­ding. Every year since, we have conducted wed­dings for couples we met at the fair.

Yes, we have wrestled with the question whether such fairs glorify the wedding above the marriage that follows, and, yes, we have wondered about hyper-commercialisation. But the overwhelming experience has been positive, and has reminded people that the church has so much more to offer to couples than just the experience of the wedding day.

There are some wonderful juxta­positions. At the first fair, our Mothers’ Union were next to the stall advertising cosmetic surgery. They still talk about it.

 

(The Revd) Jeremy Fletcher (Vicar of Beverley Minster)
Beverley, East Yorkshire

 

Your questions

 

Where do I find an article by Alec Vidler or John Robinson, “The Appalling Amateurishness of the Church”? D. G. H.

 

Address for answers and more questions: Out of the Question, Church Times, 3rd floor, Invicta House, 108-114 Golden Lane, London EC1Y 0TG. questions@churchtimes.co.uk

The Church Times Podcast

The Church Times Podcast, hosted by Tim Wyatt and Ed Thornton, features a mixture of interviews and news analysis. Listen online

Latest Cartoon

The Church Times Archive

Read reports from issues stretching back to 1863, search for your parish or see if any of the clergy you know get a mention.

FREE for Church Times subscribers.

Explore the archive

Subscribe now to get full access

To explore the Church Times website fully, please sign in or subscribe.

Non-subscribers can read seven articles each month for free.