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?


  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.

  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.

  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?

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

  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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