By Anayo Okoli
Umuahia – The Diocese of Amichi, Anglican Communion, has banned new couples from celebrating church wedding before their traditional engagement.
Couples in Igboland often fixed both church and traditional weddings on the same day to save cost. But the Bishop of the Diocese in Anambra State, Rt. Rev. Ephraim Ikeakor, disagreed with the arrangement, and banned the practise.
Ikeakor, who also banned wedding celebration for pregnant ladies, also declared as unacceptable the conferment on its members with Ozo title, especially those already admitted into Knighthood.
Bishop Ikeakor, who announced these measures at the 3rd Session of the First Synod of the Diocese at Unubi, Nnewi South Local Government Area of Anambra State, also banned its members from collecting goods on credit on behalf of the church during harvest ceremonies as well as shooting of dane guns during burial and funeral rites.
He said: “It is becoming almost a tradition for church members to come early in the morning for church wedding and, thereafter, in the evening go for traditional marriage ceremony. This is unacceptable in this Diocese.
“The church should be the last port of call for any marriage involving our members. No clergy man in this Diocese should be involved in conducting church wedding before traditional marriage.
“We have also observed with shame and dismay the and ungodly practise of conducting weddings for pregnant ladies in our churches. This is both unChristian and un-Anglican.
“We will no longer allow the unregenerate members of our church to set some unwholesome precedence and standard in the Church.
“In as much as we thank God for the gift of pregnancy, we ought not to put the cart before the horse.”