They’ll get them any way they can: the Church of England is leading a new trend for churches offering parents a two-for-one deal. Pay for a wedding, and they’ll throw in a baptism for your child or vice versa.
That’s why the Church of England has made this official protocol, instructing vicars to put the double ceremony out to the folks living in sin in their community. It’s gotten mixed reviews from the clergy, with some saying it undermines the church’s views on marriage.
After all, is there really any sanctity left in an institution if you’ll compromise just to get people in the doors? It’s akin to the priest rushing you through pre-marital counseling to get you married while you’re shacking up, but turning a blind eye to your living situation just to get the job done.
Of course, with marriage rates among parents already in the decline, it begs the question how much sanctity people still afford the institution to begin with. If you’re among the folks opting out on the big church do even as they opt in on marriage (Catholic ceremonies alone have halved since the seventies), you’re probably also asking why churches think they can lure you in with a promise that they’ll indoctrinate your child too. If you’re avoiding them for one, chances are you’ll avoid them for both.
I was married in a church and had my daughter baptised in a church, but I’m not sure I’d do either if the process had been in the reverse order.
Would you opt for the two-fer deal?