As of today, 04.05.2021, the way in which marriages are registered in England and Wales has changed. Some of the changes are long overdue, some feel like an opportunity missed. But one part of today’s transition has been the closing of the elegant hard-bound, olive-green, gold-lettered Church of England Register[s] Of Marriages. Today, I have drawn 344 diagonal lines, in archive quality ink, through 172 record entries (in duplicate registers) that will never be used. It felt like the end of an era that it is, but also an unexpectedly therapeutic activity.
[In recent years, as the number of church weddings has fallen, these registers became slimmer; but there have never been many weddings at St Nicholas’ and so these were the older 250-entry registers, in which 78 weddings are recorded, between 1993-2017. The registers at the Minster are more recent, and therefore contain fewer entries, and will require fewer lines drawn through them—though this will be done by one of my colleagues.]
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