The number of couples choosing to get married in an Anglican church in England and Wales has fallen to its lowest level ever.
New figures from the Office for National Statistics show they hosted 49,717 ceremonies in 2014, a reduction compared to 50,226 in 2013.
Venerable John Barton, who worked on producing a series of wedding guidelines at the Church of England, told Premier he was disappointed by the figures.
He said: “I’m disappointed for the couples because I think they don’t know what they’re missing.
“You’re in a house of God and you’re asking God’s blessing on what you’re doing. That is prohibited if a civil registrar conducts a wedding.”
Church weddings represented 28 per cent of marriages throughout England and Wales in 2013, compared to 30 per cent in the previous year.
There were 179,344 civil weddings in 2014.
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