News by email Donate


Channel Four
UK News

Vicar criticised over involvement in marriage reality show

Revd Nick Devenish from St Mary and St Michael's in Cartmel, Cumbria was part of the five person expert panel who chose the couples who married without previously meeting.

Speaking to The Times, the Bishop of Manchester Rt Revd David Walker accused the show of "inappropriate and rather seedy behaviour".

Addressing the vicar's involvement, he said: "I do not believe it was a good idea for [Mr Devenish] to take part.

"The Church wants marriage to be successful and we don't achieve that by reducing it to a scientific experiment. I was at General Synod with 450 devout Anglicans and not one of the people I spoke to thought this was a good idea."

But Revd Devenish has defended the show. Speaking to the Church Times, he said: "I do not have any regrets. I do hope that society starts to consider the questions being asked by the hundreds of people we saw...Whether we do so consciously or unconsciously, the drive to have a perfect career, which affects how many hours people were working to keep a roof over their heads, means the energy to find someone else is not there.

Channel Four

"It was a privilege to have been in that place, seeking to address the problems that young people are facing. The Church has so much to offer about the importance of relationships, and particularly marriage. The Church does want to be part of people's lives; we need to move ourselves to where people are."

One and half thousand people auditioned for the show. Three couples were matched together and while two ceremonies took place, the third bride pulled out at the last minute. The two weddings were civil ceremonies and Revd Devenish did not lead the services.

His diocese hasn't commentated but the Church of England said: "Christians believe marriage is a gift from God and should mirror the love that God has for all of us - love that remains true, faithful, protective and respectful."

Channel Four

A Monthly Gift Of $11 Makes A World Of Difference

In a world of fake news there’s never been a greater need for quality Christian journalism. Premier’s mission is to provide the Church with the most up to date and relevant news, told from a Christian perspective. But we can’t do it without you.

Unlike many websites we haven't put up a paywall — we want to keep our journalism free at the point of need and as open as we can. Premier’s news output takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce. No one in the USA is sharing news like we are across radio, magazines and online so please help us to continue that today.

For a monthly gift of $11 or more we’d also be able to send you a free copy of the brand new Premier Bible, a wonderful Anglicised version of the NLT packed with exclusive bonus content, reading plan and resources to help you get the most out of scripture.

Your monthly support will make a world of difference. Thank you.

Support Us
Continue the conversation on our Facebook page

Related Articles

Sign up to our newsletter to stay informed with news from a Christian perspective.

News by email