THE County’s first ever Church Wedding Fair is to take place in Henfield a day after the Royal Wedding on Saturday April 30.
St Peter’s Church, in Church Lane, Henfield, is hosting the event from 11am to 4pm in a bid to promote marriage and support local businesses.
Companies specialising in flowers, cake-decorating, catering and even vintage china hire will be amongst the 34 businesses attending the event.
Visitors will also have the chance to enjoy tasty samples of cakes and ice-cream courtesy of the Friends of St. Peter’s.
Revd. Alastair Cutting, of St. Peter’s Church, said: “We’re used to seeing hotels and other establishments hosting wedding fairs, and here we’re very conscious that churches should be doing the same thing.
“This is a great time to emphasise the importance of Christian marriage and church wedding ceremonies.There will be a relaxed atmosphere, and informal facilities available.
“Local clergy will be present to answer questions about marriage and to help explain exactly what is involved in having a wedding in church.
“We really want to bring the spiritual aspect back to weddings, and this is a great chance to do so.
“As people come to this important stage in their lives and consider getting God’s blessing, it’s very important for us to provide as much information as possible, including the Church of England’s regulations.
“Also, the event will be great for local businesses and therefore the whole community. Everything from local businesses to companies have been in contact to join the fair - there’s actually a waiting list now!”
He added: “As we have no previous similar event to go on, we have no idea whether to expect a handful, or a couple of hundred, but we are getting a number of calls to the office which is a good indication.”
The event comes just two months after Ripon Cathedral, in North Yorkshire, hosted a wedding show during National Marriage Week in a bid to raise funds for a development and promote church marriage.
Katrina Phipps, Wedding Fair Co-ordinator, said: “It’s important to know that this is not a fund raiser. Our main aim is to promote church marriage and to support and build local community, but if any additional funds are received it will go towards St. Peter’s.”