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Humanist now more popular than Christian weddings


The times are changing according to new figures

Christian weddings could soon be among the minority as records show more humanist weddings have become the most popular form of marriage in Scotland.

Newly released official statistics reveals that for the first time, there were more humanist marriages in Scotland last year than there were Christian marriages of all denominations combined.

Humanist marriages made up 23% of all marriages, while Christian marriages made up 22%.

In total there were 5,879 humanist marriages, compared with 5,812 Christian marriages and 1,409 marriages of other religions. There were also 12,635 civil ceremonies conducted by registrars in 2019. This compares to the first year when humanist ceremonies were legally recognised (2005) when there were 82 humanist marriages compared to 14,564 Christian marriages.

Fraser Sutherland, chief executive of Humanist Society Scotland said: "These new official government statistics show again how humanist ceremonies have become a mainstay of Scottish public life. The new figures also show that Humanist Society Scotland celebrants have solemnised the biggest percentage share of total weddings we have ever had - showing that more couples are opting for a meaningful humanist ceremony than ever before.

"These stats also put more pressure on the UK government to relent and legally recognise humanist marriages in England and Wales. The claims there is no demand for such ceremonies are blown out of the water by these new Scottish figures."

Lord Low of Dalston, a member of the humanist group, said: “Once weddings resume there will no doubt be a huge backlog of demand for registrars that could easily stretch through to the end of next year.

“One way the government should seek to ease that demand is by extending legal recognition to humanist marriages, which would stop couples who want to have a humanist wedding from having to also have a civil marriage to gain legal recognition.”

A spokesman for the Church of Scotland said: “We would encourage anyone considering marriage to visit their local church and speak with someone about the many options available to them to mark their very special day.”



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Craig Crosthwaite
7 months ago
Asa Christian I find this pleasing. Why should anybody of no faith have to get married in a church and follow a faith based ritual. Marriage before God is a vow detailing the relationship between the soon to be husband and wife and God. An outward declaration of faith. If you do not believe in God why should you be forced to do so. So good, let those of faith have a ritual they believe in and those of none have one according to their world views. And may all be happy and live long with great relationships.