Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Weddings for free!

St Luke's Church in Evelyn Street was built in 1870-72; it had its own parish from 1873, but is united with St Nicholas now. In 1895 it found a novel way to serve its poorer parishioners:
Initial expense is often a serious obstacle to young people who contemplate matrimony, but there seems to be a good time ahead for them. Following a free education, free breakfast, and other enlightened reforms, comes the announcement of free matrimony. The Rev. J. H. Grieg has decided to perform the marriage ceremony on four days each year at St. Luke’s church, Deptford, without fees of any kind, no charge being made even for the banns. The first marriages under the scheme were solemnized on Easter Monday, and followed by similar services on Whit Monday and the last Bank Holiday.


Marmoset said...

Free education I can believe, free breakfasts would be nice, but everyone knows there's no such thing as free matrimony! In fact that's the first time I've ever seen those two words next to each other...

Hels said...

Absolutely. If the government cannot provide top quality services without cost to its own citizens, I am glad the church did.

I don't suppose hiring the church, hiring the minister and announcing the banns for free would save a fortune, but at least the church's thinking was spot on.