With seemingly nothing better to do on a Sunday, the Archbishop of Wales helped to man a stall at a Bridgend wedding fayre yesterday (now in the third year of pulpits being swopped for wedding stands) in his latest bid to drag in anyone to prop up the dwindling numbers attending Church in Wales services under his
Defending his absence from the pulpit he said: "These days couples have a huge choice of where and how they can marry. The Church has been in the business of marriage longer than anyone and we want to show couples that a church wedding is particularly special. So we're encouraging them to come and see what we can offer and how we can help them. A wedding fayre is a great place in which to do this and I'm looking forward to meeting people this weekend."
The Reverend Mike Komor of Coity, Nolton and Brackla with Coychurch added: "The idea first came about a few years ago because we had been talking about how many young people seem to be under the misperception that unless they attend a church they can't get married in one. We hit upon the idea of attending a wedding fayre to raise awareness of this issue." - The cost of a church wedding ceremony is £321, plus £200 if a Common Licence is needed or an extra fee of around £250 for a Special Licence.
There is no suggestion that couples have to believe in the Christian faith when touting for business so does that mean that the service will be 'Doctored' for civil use or will the church simply carry on as they have with the ordination/consecration services as if nothing has happened? This is the official teaching of the Church in Wales:
"The introduction to the Church in Wales Marriage Service describes marriage as a gift from God. The Bible teaches that marriage is a life-long, faithful union between a man and a woman, and compares married love with the love Jesus has for his people – a love expressed in his willing sacrifice of himself on the cross."
"Jesus therefore sets the greatest example of unconditional, self-sacrificial love – a model that husband and wife can seek to follow in the way they love one another, each putting the other’s needs first. At the heart of the marriage ceremony is the exchange of vows, in which a couple make a public declaration of lifelong commitment to love each other, whatever the future may bring."
"Christians believe that in marriage we find the proper expression of our sexuality, a secure environment for bringing up our children, and an important element of stability for the wider community."
But the Archbishop is not one for keeping to the Christian faith if it suits his secular agenda so competing for business with the 114 wedding venues in Glamorgan must seem perfectly natural.
Happy couples may be assured that the cost of the sacrament of marriage is cheap when compared with other wedding costs. However, couples living in sin in the Parish of Dan yr Epynt in the wilds of Brecknockshire should be advised that they will need to undergo marriage preparation classes. Yet to catch up with the Archbishop's new found enlightenment, that must be anathema to someone who favours marriage between same-sex couples, thereby offering further opportunities for swelling numbers and raking-in even more cash.
On the last point the Archbishop has warned of the dangers of the church being seen as homophobic and, somewhat laughingly for regular worshippers familiar with Dr Morgan's modus operandi, called for discussions to be "charitable"!