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St Paul’s Church

1st of June 2014

Bob, my husband, has for many years (all our married life!) given me the benefit of his wisdom – all acquired from Radio 4, in particular Woman’s Hour. This morning I had the pleasure of hearing it first hand. The topic was an interesting one and concerned the legal requirement in England of including the father’s, but excluding the mother’s, name on Marriage Certificates. Many will see this as an unimportant topic for debate, a mere matter of tradition, but for others like Caroline Criado-Perez, one of the guests on today’s programme, it is an outdated practice that does not reflect the development of society and the place of women in it. In Scotland both parents have appeared on the certificate from inception, including the maiden name of the mother.

It seems to me that this is a straightforward change to make, one long overdue. I wonder how Parliament will respond to Caroline Lucas MP’s campaign for changes in the law, and whether these changes will be implemented before the consecration of the first women Bishops in the Church of England.

The height of the wedding season is upon us, and to date this matter has not been a stumbling block for any of the couples I have had the privilege of marrying in the last few years. Sadly, this is not the case for Caroline Criado-Perez who is recently engaged and has said she will not be marrying her beau until the law changes. I hope for her sake that this particular change comes sooner rather than later. What other legal issues are there, I wonder, regarding the relationship between men and women to come out of the woodwork?

Blessings, Michele, Rector – Benefice of Sarratt and Chipperfield

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