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Friday, 8 July 2011

Weddings R Us

I read an excellent article on the concept of centrally-set fees for Church of England weddings in the Guardian.

And I totally agree with whichever C of E people came up with this idea.

Because if I wanted to make the Church of England irrelevant, while simultaneously alienating people in poor neighbourhoods, and hitting expensive-to-run churches in expensive places - I'd do exactly what is described. I presume that's what they're aiming for?

Let me put it this way - if I had a Moot House on a 1960s housing estate in a London overspill town, and I wanted people to hold weddings in it, I'd keep my prices pretty low. People in those environments don't earn much money, and living unwed is always the zero-cost option. So I'd want a low entry point.
But if I were running, let's say, the Beaker equivalent of St Martin in the Fields or somewhere - or a nice little 13th century place in a small village with not many people but a steeple with expensive running costs - I'd want to keep my prices up a bit. These people like to have a nice background for their wedding photos, and I'd have a lot of running costs - and I'd want to do everything I could to keep that pretty background for the photos open as long as I could. Let's face it, one day somebody might be saved.

The Guardian accuses the Good Old Church of England (someone's got to keep the phrase going) of "managerialism". Which I don't really agree with. Managers in real businesses have to get their pricing policies right, or they go out of business. I wouldn't really call this suggestion "managerialism". I think I'd call it a cartel. And the problem with cartels is - they don't work if someone can compete with you. Like the hotels with wedding licences and the Registry offices, and just plain old - as it was once called - living in sin. An oil cartel would be a terrible thing to try and run if electric cars were efficient. How do the people who came up with this barmy idea think it would be any different?

5 comments :

  1. Don't forget the competition from non-conformists. Drayton Parslow could make a killing out of this, but then he might ask too many awkward questions about previous marriages and living in sin before the wedding day. Anyway I guess his chapel can't compete as a background for photos.

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  2. Drayton rents our lovely Bogwulf Chapel. And he charges very reasonable rates. If it wasn't for the tests he insists on before allowing white weddings, he would make a fortune.

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  3. I knew my investment in the Church of the Apathetic Agnostic and my Grand Heirophancy of the Order of the Black & White Eagle would pay off one day. Now where did I put the vestments?

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  4. Glad to see that this proposal has been defeated, even if it does hurt Drayton's business.

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  5. He won't worry. His treasure is in heaven. And also, did he but know it, in Marjory's bank account.

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