by Greg Spearritt
Though the Church of England says it’s not condoning sex before marriage, it’s taken the step of introducing a double whammy of a service: the ‘hatch ‘n’ match’, or marriage for a de facto couple plus baptism of their children.
Such a ceremony is opposed by those few whose mouths morph into a cat’s bum at the very mention of the phrase ‘living together’, but there can be no doubt that cohabitation is no longer seriously considered ‘living in sin’ in our society.
Not so long ago it was scandalous behaviour. So have the clergy and the religiously devout acquired tolerance on this issue, or have they simply had no choice but to accommodate to the way we live nowadays? Or does it indicate the irrelevance of old-style religious moralising in an increasingly secular society?