How divorcees can “remarry” at Holy Trinity

Can divorcees remarry in church? The answer is, yes and no. I am starting a series of blog posts today in which I’ll explain how and why I will “marry” some divorcees at Holy Trinity.

Attitudes to Christian marriage have ebbed and flowed as times changed over the last two thousand years. We are living in a time of change and, as with all change, it is a cause of pain for some people, because we don’t like change.

For 250 years, England had a set pattern for weddings where most people got married in their parish church, in white, according to Banns. But this age has passed and a new approach to marriage is emerging. Today, couples co-habit, marry in various locations, including overseas (and sometimes underwater). There are Sikh, Hindu, Muslim, Humanist, Jewish, civil and Christian marriages. Added to this, almost half of marriages end in divorce and most divorcees seek to remarry.

As a minister in the Church of England I wear two hats at weddings. I am both a civil registrar (legalising marriage in the eyes of the government) and a Christian minister (helping couples to make promises to each other according to the teaching of the bible).

At this present time, I believe that offering a Christian service of commitment (“marriage”) without me acting as civil registrar provides the best practice for the remarriage of divorcees. I take off my civil registrar’s hat and wear only my Christian minister’s hat. This means a couple where one or both partners is divorced needs to go to the civil registrar to ask to be “married” according to the law. And, if you are truly seeking to follow Christ in your relationship, I will enable you to make vows of Christian commitment, exchange rings and so on, according to the teaching of the bible on marriage.

In the case of first marriages, every couple in my parish has a legal right to ask me to marry them. They do not have to be baptised, they do not have to be professing Christians. I’ll outline the history of this fusion, and confusion, of church and state in a later post.

When it comes to divorcees, there is no legal right to marry in the Church of England. Until 2002, no divorcees were officially allowed to marry in the church and since then the decision to marry any divorcee has fallen to the local vicar.

If you live in the parish of Holy Trinity, are divorced, want to remarry and are open to exploring what is different about Christian marriage, please contact me.

Neil Robbie

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One Response to How divorcees can “remarry” at Holy Trinity

  1. A divorced woman, who is NOT single according to the Word of God says:

    “I require and charge you both, as ye will answer at the dreadful day of judgment, when the secrets of all hearts shall be disclosed, that if either of you know any impediment, why ye may not be lawfully joined together in Matrimony, ye do now confess it.

    For be ye well assured, that so many as are coupled together otherwise than God’s Word doth allow are not joined together by God; neither is their Matrimony lawful.” –The Book of Common Prayer

    There are some marriages that God does NOT join together. There are some marriages that God deems unlawful.

    Many divorced people are trying to be “joined together OTHER then God allows” which puts them in an unlawful marriage in the eyes of God.

    My spouse left me and in God’s eyes he has no right to be joined together with another and if he does, it will be unlawful in God’s eyes. When will the church stop marrying divorced people and giving them the notion that they are in a lawful marriage, when God repeatedly calls remarriage …ADULTERY!

    Signed–A divorced woman, who is NOT single according to the Word of God.

    “A wife is bound to her husband as long as he lives. But if her husband dies, she is free to be married to whom she wishes, only in the Lord.” 1 Corinthians 7:39

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