It was so lovely hearing the banns being read at my chuch recently, that we decided we should also make the effort to hear them being read at Andrew's church.
To explain to those unfamiliar with Church of England ways, the banns are an anouncement of our intention to marry, they state our names and parishes. The idea being that people that know us would have an opportunity to say if they knew a reason why we shouldn't get married (such as being already married). The banns are read in the local Church of England churches of both husband and wife to be and also the church they will be getting married in.
My local church happens to be the church I am getting married in, so we only need them to be read in two churches. However as the church Andrew attends regularly is not his local church - we don't normally visit this church.
I personally think it would be nice if the banns could be read at people's regular churches if they don't happen to be the local one - if for no other reason than more people would actually know who we are. No one at Summerstown knows us, or anything about us. But maybe for now, the Church of England has enough on it's plate, thinking about gay marriage and women bishops!
Anyway we really enjoyed our visit to St Mary's Summerstown, it seems to be a very family friendly church and keen to grow. Not sure how many they could seat, but it is much much more than the 40-50 that were there when we visited - the church is huge and bright!