People sometimes find it hard to understand the regulations that allow which people may be married in which parish, whether it be under the reading of Banns, Bishop's Common License, Archbishop's Special License, Superintendent Registrar's Certificate, and so on.
Young people who grew up in a parish; or parents who still live there, sometimes find the rules appear arcane, discriminatory, sometimes rejecting, even if their origins might previously have made sense.
New proposals are that people with a demonstrable pastoral connection with a parish should now be able to do so, even if they do not (any longer) live there.
We were informed that today, 7 July 2007, 7-7-7, is a very auspicious date for getting married. Apparently there is a real rush on in the wedding parlours of Las Vegas.
Getting married, even with the CofE's regulations, is (relatively) easy. It is staying married, that remains much harder. In line with this, making some sort of marriage preparation mandatory, was one of the potential amendments put forward in debate. Though this was not finally included, clearly couples need as much support in married life as they can get - and I trust that, where it is offered, any preparation classes will be eagerly taken up - however weird the thought of an evening discussing married life might appear! Then perhaps marriage may not appear to be so much of a gamble.