The Church of England is to seek public opinion on Christenings and Funerals, following the success of its ‘Weddings Project’.
Leading to the launch of an online ceremony planner, the Weddings Project is credited with leading to an increase in church wedding bookings of between 10 and 50 per cent.
It invited public consultation, and researchers travelled throughout England to ask what people really wanted in a church wedding.
Now half the people who wish to marry in an Anglican church use the online service to draft the plan of their marriage ceremony.
And the success of the project has led the church to launch a similar project to look at public opinions on Christenings and Funerals, with the aim of making the experience of arranging a ceremony more straightforward and user friendly.
Gillian Oliver, who led the Weddings Project team has been given the new post of ‘Head of Projects and Development’ and tasked with helping local churches better serve their parishioners.
The Church stands to benefit financially from a resurgence in the uptake of church ceremonies, although not as lucrative as the wedding market, the fees paid for Christenings and Funerals may help keep many smaller churches afloat financially.
One of the key bars to people using the church for such important moments in their lives is the question of whether they must be a believer or regularly attend a church to have a ceremony there.
One major impact of the Weddings Project was to inform people that the church was open to everyone, not just regular worshippers.
The Bishop of Norwich, The Rt Rev Graham James told the Church of England Newspaper: “By listening to England in this way, we have found that the Church’s traditional ministry is still wanted and appreciated by people today. It has given churches a spring in their step, and helped them serve people better who come for a wedding. That we are about to do more of this work is good news for everyone.”
January 6th, 2012 - Posted & Written by Simon Cross