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Anglican church weddings reach record low
The number of couples choosing to get married in an Anglican church in England and Wales has fallen to its lowest level ever.
New figures from the Office for National Statistics show they hosted 49,717 ceremonies in 2014, a reduction compared to 50,226 in 2013.
Venerable John Barton, who worked on producing a series of wedding guidelines at the Church of England, told Premier he was disappointed by the figures.
He said: "I'm disappointed for the couples because I think they don't know what they're missing.
"You're in a house of God and you're asking God's blessing on what you're doing. That is prohibited if a civil registrar conducts a wedding."
Church weddings represented 28 per cent of marriages throughout England and Wales in 2013, compared to 30 per cent in the previous year.
There were 179,344 civil weddings in 2014.
Venerable John Barton went on to say: "A lot of people feel 'Oh, we're not good enough. We're living together, we know that's not approved by the Church.'
"I want to say - and the Church wants to say - 'Listen, God loves you. If you're putting your house in order, we're here to help."
Prior to 1995, civil weddings had to be held in a civil register office, however, venues such as hotels can now hold the ceremonies.
Nearly 70 per cent of all weddings were religious ceremonies 50 years ago, according to the ONS.
Listen to Premier's Nick Hull speaking with Venerable John Barton:
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