Friday, 23 March 2012


Spent a happy morning ringing round all my wedding couples. We have a wedding preparation day tomorrow and I am trying to make sure that they don't all turn up here at the same time!
Getting to know your couples is essential. I have turned up to fill in for sick colleagues on the day but it is much better if you know them and more importantly they know you.
Over the years I've now married hundreds of couples...only once did I find myself committed to a worrying one. It had been booked by the priest in charge before he retired and I felt that I had to go through with it but it was not good for either them or me.
All weddings are at the discretion of the priest and we all have the option of passing them over to someone else to deal with.
When I was asked recently how I felt about same sex weddings I replied briefly that if after meeting and talking to them I was happy that marriage was for them the right thing then of course I would do it.
The questioner jumped on me in fury.
" It's a pity you don't do that with all your couples " she said.
I do do just that. In the old days we had to ask all sorts of personal questions that now seem just plain silly. I've only married one couple who came from different addresses. It would be a nonsense to attempt to give any advice on family planning or any other related subject!
People are people. I couldn't care less what their gender is. If two people want to commit themselves to each other for the rest of their lives...that's great...and that's all I really need to be sure of.

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  1. Jean, I share your view. Being pragmatic about it, combined with pastoral sensitivity is key. But of course, the issue is the church seems too have set it's mind against it. Which is a sad commentary on how out of touch it is.

    Off course, the issue of weddings involving people whose documentation or residence entitlements are difficult to manage. We not tend to refer them to the Diocesan Registrar of to the Registrar for them to issue a special licence. It avoids the chance of being caught out by those who might want to have a wedding just gain residential status in the UK.

  2. I too totally commend your open-minded approach to this 'thorny' problem.
    Love is the very best of human emotions, and in an age when commitment to just one person is at a premium, I believe any way of cementing that commitment and sanctifying it is a wholly good thing.
    Eventually the church will catch up, but until it does it desperately needs pioneers such as you Jean.