My local newspaper, the Reading Evening Post, has recently appointed a Faith Reporter to work alongside the Health reporter and the Education reporter et al and it has made a difference to our reported news. Here is a recent example -
"Couples planning to tie the knot now have greater choice over church weddings, thanks to new rules that came into force yestersay. Before the Church of England's new Marriage Measure, brides and groom-to-be would often have their perfect day marred by not being able to get married in their parents' church or the one they grew up in if they themselves were not still members of the parish.
But now couples can get married in any Anglican church in the country as long as they can prove they have a link to it. Couples just need to prove that one of them was baptised or confirmed in the parish, has lived in the parish or attended church there for at least six months. They can also wed there if their parents or grandparents married there and if one of their parents attends the church or lives in the area.
The Bishop of Reading, Stephen cottrell, who spearheaded the national launch, said, 'People want to get married in church but often the laws we used to have reflected a different society. When our laws were first nmade we didn't live in a mobile society like we do now. People were born and lived and died in the same place but now we all move around a lot.
It wasn't impossible in the past for people to get married in a different church but it was very complicated. We're trying to make it easier for people now. Really it's common sense and it's what people want. It's part of the church wanting to offer a beter service to people. I wish it had happened 10 years ago.'
A special wedding breakfast took place at St. Laurence's Church, Friar Street, yesterday to launch the new law. Workers were treated to uplifting choruses from the Souls of Prophecy Gospel Choir who sang outside the church, while the bishop spoke to passers-by about the new law.
Around 120 vicars from Berkshire aslo visited Greyfriars Church, Friar Street, yesterday to learn about the changes the new law will bring. All vicars in England have to complete a legal refresher course to hear about the Marriage Measure.
The Church of England worked with wedding experts confetti.co.uk on the laws after a survey by the company found that more people would choose a church wedding if they knew one was possible. The study also found that 53 per cent of the general population think church weddings 'feel more proper'."
Visit www.yourchurchwedding.org for more information.
Source: Reading Evening Post 2/10/08