Church Wedding Fees up 40% despite earlier promises of no increase.

The Church of England has announced plans to increase the cost of weddings from 296 to 413.

This news comes after a vote last year rejected the proposed increase and a statement issed by the church assured that "fees will not go up in the forseeable future". The higher rates will come into effect as of January 2013 and for the first time include additional costs for items such as lighting and administration.

The general Synod which is the Church's governing body has acknowledged that the rises will likely have an impact on less wealthy couples.

The Rev Canon Simon Killwick, a vicar in Moss Side, Manchester, said: "Such a fee increase seems to me hard to justify in times of financial austerity and even harder to justify in poor inner-city parishes. The Church of England ought not to be seen to be making a big increase at this time and ought not to be making it difficult for the poor to access these services at a time when a simple ceremony can be had at a register office for around 100."

"It would be a crying shame if poor people end up being married in register offices because the Church of England has priced them out of their parish church."

Higher Clergy Salaries.

It seems that the rise in weddings costs is part of a wider agenda to cover rising costs of clergy salaries. The Rt Rev John Packer, the Bishop of Ripon and Leeds, said the changes reflected the "reality" of the costs, and reduced confusion over different fees being charged by different parishes.

He told the General Synod that the fees raised about 35m a year for the Church, including 15m towards the pay of clergy. "The reality of what it costs matters, and it seems to me that those who are being married within our churches do understand that," he said.

Funeral Costs Increase

It's not just wedding costs which are being elevated either, a Church of England funeral as of 2013 will also cost 50% more than it currently does from 102 to 160 pounds.

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