Diocese of Oxford competes at wedding fairs

The Diocese of Oxford has started selling itself at wedding fairs to compete with venues which provide civil ceremonies.

The Bishop of Oxford, the Rt Rev John Pritchard said the church was responding to competitive pressures.

He added: "It's time we started demonstrating what the real benefits and the real joys of getting married in church are."

Churches offer marriages form £350 to everybody regardless of their beliefs.

'Not selling God'

Bishop Pritchard said the church had been slow to respond to its competitors but he now wanted to update the public perception of church weddings.

Services can now be carried out on almost any day of the week and the bride and groom do not have to be christened.

But he rejected claims the church was becoming overly commercialised.

"It's not selling God, it's actually saying we can help you to make this day what you want it to be," he said.

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