Monday, 12 April 2010

Wedding Fees and the Open Market

I'm quite new to this vicar business.  Indeed, although I have now led 30 or 40 communion services, baptised a couple of dozen or so babies and conducted two funerals (a while ago) I've never taken a wedding service myself.

Now our church is lovely, but modern and brick-built.  And other churches are chocolate-box-lovely and all mellow stone etc.  And my question is this (and I hope somebody reading this may have an idea):

Why does the Church of England set rates for weddings centrally?  Why can't we price a wedding to compete with the Registry Office (because we know people go to the Registry to save money), and St Martin's in the Fields' charge the going rate for a prime central London location with all the trimmings?  If we can charge a sensible rate for a wedding, then we can allow more people to marry in church - and with that goes all the pastoral support we can offer and more meaning to those being married.

Just wondered...


Sally said...

Good point! Our fees are set locally.

Catriona said...

Of course, were you a Batist you could simply charge zippo and zilch (though of course the civil registering aspect is a bit different from the C of E and the 'licence' fee has to be paid).

I guess it all depends what we think we are offering and saying?

Simon C said...

If you believe you can get married at St M in the F for the Statutory Fee you are living in Cloud Cuckoo Land! Every Church I have been involved in adds its own fees to the basic - how much is added is most definately market linked.
We do tend to vary our fees depending on the couple - the last two I have arranged we have remitted almost all the 'extras' apart from organist

G said...

I never dreamt you'd get married in St Martin's for the basic fee. Extras are all very well. But it's the floor that worries me, not the ceiling. Even without "extras" it's currently £260 + banns.