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'A storm in a teacup' vicars hit back at claims of rudeness to wedding photographers

by Donna Birrell

Vicars have hit back after more than 900 wedding photographers signed a petition complaining that some clergy are making it impossible for them to take pictures during a wedding service.

The petition, which was started by photographer Rachel Roberts accuses the vicars of “rude, humiliating, aggressive and abusive behaviour”.

She said she wants to start a public conversation about the relationship between wedding photographers and vicars. She claimed that on some occasions she has been told to only take one photo at a wedding and to stand behind pillars during the service.

However, Rev Giles Fraser, the vicar of St Anne’s, Kew and also a columnist, admitted to being irritated at the behaviour of some photographers, posting on social media site X: “I am absolutely one of those Vicars that gets grumpy with wedding photographers. So often they treat the church as a kind of booking, rather than the place for a solemn service. They can be so entitled and disrespectful.”

The former Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams said that there are two sides to the story: “While some vicars can be a complete pain and over-controlling to a degree, clergy too need to be able to do their jobs,” he told The Times.

“A request not to be intrusive during a service when something significant is supposed to be taking place at the spiritual level is not unreasonable.

“The event isn’t staged just as a spectacle to be filmed, but as a personal encounter of a couple with God. So there are indeed two sides to this.”

Rev Simon Archer who is a priest on the Isle of Man agreed, posting on X: “All this stuff about angry vicars and angry photographers at weddings! What a storm in a teacup. I bet for every story of a priest being a pain in the derrière, you will find an equal number where photographers have been just the same. I love a selfie at a wedding myself!”

But in the true spirit of Christian fellowship, the Archdeacon of Exeter Andrew Beane extended a hand of reconciliation to wedding photographers inviting any who are “worried or concerned about one of your wedding bookings” to get in touch as “we’ll happily talk over any issues and help resolve them.” 


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