Fewer couples are choosing to tie the knot in a church, synagogue or other religious venue in Northamptonshire, new figures reveal.
For the first time ever, across England and Wales, less than a quarter of marriages were religious ceremonies.
In Northamptonshire, there were 825 religious weddings in 2016, compared with 938 five years earlier, according to the latest Office for National Statistics data. That’s a drop of 12% since 2011.
A quarter of weddings in Northamptonshire are religious, in line with the rest of England.
These figures only include opposite-sex marriages.
Across England and Wales, three in four religious weddings were Anglican, 11% were Catholic. Non-Christian ceremonies only amounted to 4% of the total.
The Canon Sandra Millar, who heads the Church of England’s work on weddings, says couples do not have to be regular parishioners.
She said: “We want to reassure couples that they don’t have to be churchgoers to have a church wedding.
“They don’t need to be christened, and we welcome couples who already have children.”