Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Don't apologize for charging

According to the Derry Journal, a priest in Derry has had to defend "his decision to charge £50 per wedding in his parish, saying it was a 'token' amount compared to the overall amount spent on tying the knot today". What does he have to defend? He should be charging £250 for a wedding.

This drives me crazy. People just assume that the churches are some form of public space that they should be able to use for free. Regular churchgoers pay the bills that keep the churches going. Why should they underwrite weddings for people who are willing to spend thousands, often tens of thousands nowadays, for all sorts of nonsense that seems part of the modern wedding?

Priests need to stop apologizing and remember that those people who pay the bills do not object to charging for the use of the church for special functions. £250 is not too much for the use of a church for a wedding. In this particular case, the church in question is St. Eugene's Cathedral. I can see why it's popular with people who aren't parishioners. The priest should probably charge more than £250.