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Last Updated: Sunday, 29 February, 2004, 13:44 GMT
Vicar's wedding trial idea
Wedding ring
Anyone can come along and find out more about church weddings
A Church of England vicar is welcoming couples considering marriage to give them a flavour of the big day.

Father Richard Grigson from St Saviour's Smallthorne Church, Stoke-on-Trent has invited 15 couples to his "wedding taster session."

The prospective brides and grooms will be able to hear the top 10 wedding hymns, prayers and popular Bible readings in the hour-long event.

Father Grigson says the day aims day to halt the decline in church weddings.

'Big business'

He said: "A wedding is a wonderful and happy occasion, and a church wedding is very special.

"Many couples don't know how to contact their local church, or are not sure whether they want to be married in church.

"Our Wedding Bells taster session will hopefully answer many of the questions people have about getting married."

The church has offered the service since 1996 and as many as 30 couples took part one year with some coming back to tie the knot.

"We have had people thinking about it, but coming to our session in the past some have decided that this is the way they would like to start their married life," he added.

"Marriage is big business, and many people are trying to sell things for the big day.

"The church is not in that game - we are not a business, we are offering people a chance to ask God's blessing on their lives, and you can't put a price on that."

The Wedding Bells taster session starts at 1530 GMT on Sunday.

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