Given that they have been marrying people for centuries, the clergy ought to know a thing or two about weddings, writes Stephen Henry.
So it may come as a surprise to learn the Scottish Episcopal Church will be represented for the first time at the country’s biggest wedding show.
In an age when couples seek bizarre places to tie the knot, the church wants to remind people of the original venue where generations have said their vows.
Last night a spokesman said: “We felt the church really had to put itself forward and say ‘we are here, we do weddings and we do them well’.”
Members of the Scottish Episcopal Church will hand out leaflets and provide advice at the Scottish Wedding Show.
The idea was revealed by the church’s information and communications board and was approved by bishops in Scotland’s seven dioceses, who gave it unanimous backing.
About 8,000 people are expected to attend the event, which takes place at the SECC in Glasgow on February 16 and 17.
The Very Rev Kelvin Holdsworth, Provost of Glasgow’s Episcopal Cathedral, said: “The Episcopal Church knows quite a bit about weddings – we’ve been doing them for a very long time.
“Generations of people have come to church to mark the most significant events in their lives. If a number of people planning a wedding are visiting a national wedding show, then the church should be there too. Marriage is an exciting time in people’s lives.
“What will be exciting for the church in attending the show will be the opportunity to meet people we may not otherwise meet.”
The Episcopal Church will have its own stall at the exhibition. Its leaflets will contain questions and answers about getting married in church.
They include how to have a tailor-made wedding, marrying a divorcee, the availability of clergy and wedding venues.
A spokesman added: “We thought it was time we went to the people rather than them come to us. We want to remind people the church is there for them if that is what they want.”
The spokesman said the decision to take part in the show was not due to fewer couples getting married in church.
“We felt the Episcopal Church should not be absent from something focusing on weddings,” she added.
A spokesman for the Scottish Wedding Show said: “It is great to have the Episcopal Church involved in this.
“We try to let the show cover all aspects of a wedding and the church is important to many couples getting married.”
The Scottish Episcopal Church is a member of the world-wide Anglican Communion and has more than 300 churches across Scotland.
Last summer, the church renewed its marriage liturgy to create a balance between what it wants to “say about God’s love and what couples getting married want to say about their love and commitment to one another”.
• Full story at the Daily Mail.