LONDON — The Church of England is offering couples a two-for-one service — marriage for them and baptisms for their children.
The church is recognizing the changing reality of British families, it said Thursday. Statistics show that 44% of children in Britain are born to unmarried women, and the church’s own research found that one in five couples seeking a church wedding already had children either together or from a previous relationship.
New guidelines sent to the Church of England’s 16,000 parish churches encourage services that combine a wedding with a christening or a service of thanksgiving for the birth of a child.
Some clergy welcomed the latest move, but others argued it undermined Anglican teaching about the sanctity of marriage.