York & North Yorkshire

Ripon Cathedral holds first bridal show

Bridal fashion show in Ripon Cathedral
Image caption Church leaders hope the show will encourage people to consider getting married in church

The first bridal fashion show has been held at England's oldest cathedral to try to encourage more church weddings.

Organisers of the Ripon Cathedral Wedding Show had to gain permission from the Church of England to hold a commercial venture inside the building.

Dean of Ripon Keith Jukes said: "Some people are worried about bringing the commercial aspect into the church. I look at it in a different way.

"The church has some stunning venues. Why shouldn't we do one here?"

He said the aim of the wedding show was to help boost the number of people getting married in church as well as raising funds for Ripon Cathedral.

The event is expected to generate about £20,000 towards cathedral restoration funds.

"There is a major Church of England initiative to look at marriage, to promote it," said the dean.

"We are bringing the commercial community and the real community together in this space for our wedding fair.

"There is always debate, particularly when churches and cathedrals do something new.

"We are not out to make huge amounts of money. If we do make any money it will go to further beautify this important building."

Visitors to the church stand at the show were be able to meet clergy, talk through their wedding service ideas and receive advice on everything from hymns and readings to churches where they could get married.

The Bishop of Ripon and Leeds, John Packer, said: "I welcome the initiative by the cathedral to hold this first wedding fair and along with all sorts of other exhibits and displays, the diocese will be taking a stand to encourage church weddings."

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