MORAY KIRK MINISTERS are taking the unusual step of promoting the wider benefits of getting married in church at a wedding show this weekend.
Manning a stand at the Moray Wedding Exhibition at Elgin Town Hall for the first time on Sunday will be Rev Jenny Adams, Rev Anne Attenburrow, Rev Stuart Duff and Elder Elain Clarke.
Mrs Adams, convener of Moray Presbytery’s Mission and Service Committee, said the show, which is being held between 12pm-4pm, was an opportunity for the Church to engage with people in a different way.
The stall will be highlighted by a Church of Scotland pop-up banner and photographs of churches, weddings that have taken place and essential information will be on display, while the Ministers and Elder will be on hand to try and answer any questions people might have.
A total of 82 weddings were held in Moray churches in 2015 and 63 last year – people are welcomed into the life of the congregation and provided with lifelong guidance and support.
Mrs Adams, minister of Duffus, Spynie and Hopeman Church said: “We are taking a stall to help make people aware of how the church can assist at these significant moments in their lives. Through Ministers and Deacons, we can shape a marriage ceremony that is personal and acknowledges God as the ground of all love.”
Mrs Adams said conducting weddings was “one of the great joys” of being a minister, adding: “The show will allow us to meet people, share information, answer questions, and remind people of the welcome they will receive in their parish church.”
Mrs Adams said Church ministers and Deacons were also available to conduct marriage ceremonies in other locations: “We have very beautiful buildings and settings in Moray but that is not the most important thing we offer to folk.”
Adding that she was looking forward to attending the Wedding Show, she said: “I have never been to one before because when I got married, I just got married. We don’t know what sort of response we will get but we are looking forward to engaging with folk. You never know what seeds you might plant in people’s minds.”
Church of Scotland marriages topped the list of ceremonies conducted by religious and beliefs-based celebrants in 2016. A total of 3675 couples chose to be married by a minister, who does not personally charge for their services, in a Kirk ceremony.