Concerns have been expressed that the costs involved in getting married in a Catholic church in Derry can run into hundreds of pounds.
A local woman contacted the ‘Journal’ to express her surprise at the costs associated with a church wedding for a relative.
The woman, who did not wish to be named, said that the costs involved may leave some young couples struggling, particularly if they are already facing financial pressures.
A spokesman for the Derry Diocese, however, said that there were no directives from the diocese and that if there were fees associated with wedding ceremonies, the were worked out on a parish by parish basis.
The local woman said that her relative has been quoted hundreds of pounds which had to be paid to the church.
She claimed the fees which couples face include £150 for a pre-marriage course organised through the Church, as well as a deposit and potential bills for heating for winter weddings and floral arrangements for the service.
The woman claimed it was only Derry parishes that seemed to be setting fees, adding there was also a social expectation of making a donation as a thank you on top .
The woman said: “I just think it is awful, especially for people who may not be able to pay that extra expense, people on low wages or who aren’t working. I think its ridiculous.
“There’s a £150 cost for the course and it’s just expected of them that they pay it.”
A spokesman for the Derry Diocese said: “With regards to the wedding preparation pre-marriage course and fees, each parish has their own policy.”
The Journal understands that not all parishes across the city charge fees. It is also understood that the pre-marriage course is highly recommended to couples, but not compulsory.