Any person resident in the parish (and does not have a former spouse still living – not divorced) is welcome to get married in Holy Trinity Church. Contrary to popular belief, baptism is not a requirement. Recent legislation has made provision for persons living outside a parish to get married at a particular parish church if they have good reason to do so. (Former residency or some other personal connection, for example. The Diocesan Website will provide necessary information.)
Although the Church of England has now made provision for divorcees to be married in church, it has not (unlike the Roman and Orthodox Churches) made provision for the Church itself to declare a marriage ended, although annulment is still an option in certain circumstances. The present system means that the parish priest is both judge and jury when deciding who or who isn’t allowed to marry for a second (or third) time in church.
The present parish priest at Sneyd Church would be prepared to marry a divorced person if the bishop would grant a dispensation. Bishops would appear to be unable to do this so an alternative has to be found. Prayers following a civil ceremony seems to be the best way around the problem. There is no sweat about legalities and an honesty about the proceedings. (Note: The church is blessing the couple, not necessarily giving its blessing to the wedding.)
Same-sex relationships are not blessed in church. However, anyone is welcome to have their home blessed (eg. when moving house or following some major sadness at the house – a burglary, flooding, or some violent incident) and there is no reason why any couple shouldn’t have prayers said for them in their home.
A church wedding costs (to date) £350. There is no need for the big dress, fancy cars, flowers, nail-extensions, chimney-sweeps – or even the meal and the evening ‘do.