13 February 2018
With Prince Harry set to wed fiancée Meghan Markle in a chapel with deep family connections, new research reveals that many British 18-34-year-olds who marry in church, do so in the same one as their parents or grandparents
With Prince Harry set to wed fiancée Meghan Markle in St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle, a church with deep family connections, new research reveals that 45 per cent of British 18-34 year-olds who marry in church do so in the same one as their parents or grandparents – twice as many as older generations.
The national survey of 4,500 adults, commissioned by Ecclesiastical Insurance Group, which insures many of the UK’s Anglican churches, shows that family ties run deep for young newlyweds. Michael Angell, church operations director at Ecclesiastical, said: ‘Churches are places people return to again and again to celebrate and commemorate key milestones in their lives. They are deeply rooted in family history and tradition and hold a special place in the hearts of the nation.’
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Holly Merrett, 30, and her family from The Forest of Dean in Gloucestershire, have been getting married in St James Church, Bream, for generations. Holly, who got married in 2012, said: ‘My sister and I, my parents, aunts, grandparents, great-grandparents, great-great grandparents and even further back than that, have all got married in the same church...
‘For me, the knowledge that I was making my marriage vows on the same spot as so many of my family members was very special. It felt like I was joining a dynasty, hopefully of happy marriages, and that in some way, the church building was bearing witness to my family and its changing members down the ages.
‘It feels like this is what church should be about: a place where you belong and that never changes. We can go back to the building at any point and re-live our special day. Hopefully my children will carry on the tradition.’
Nationally one in five gets married in the same church as a parent or grandparent, with London having the highest proportion of people marrying in the same church as a family member (24 per cent) and the South East the least likely at just nine per cent.
The research also revealed that 79 per cent of us have visited a church that has played a significant part in our own family history.
Images: © Thousand Word Media Limited/ Ecclesiastical Insurance.