TRADITIONALISM is alive and well in the Banbridge district if the latest statistics for marriage and divorce are anything to go by.
The number of divorces has fallen by almost 19 per cent since 2005, while the number of marriages has increased slightly.
There were 175 marriages recorded in the district last year, up on 171 ten years previously.
And people are, now more than ever, choosing to have religious ceremonies rather than civil registrations with just 30 civil ceremonies taking place last year, compared with 43 in 2001.
Fr Tony Corr of Seapatrick Parish said the staistics show that the idea of a broken society may not be right after all.
“I think this is definitely positive research that has been done,” he told the Leader.
“Couples in the vast majority of weddings which I have celebrated are still together. And recently we’ve had some 25th and 50th wedding anniversary blessings which is really nice to see and something that should be highlighted I feel.”
Referring to the figures for civil and religious ceremonies Fr Corr said most of those getting married in a religious setting are committed to their faith.
“There would be a percentage that have the big white wedding in the church just for the day itself and they probably feel they get more out of a church service.
“But most people I see here have an element of faith about them. The statistics probably don’t reflect the whole picture but they’re a good indication of a more positive state of affairs than people might imagine.”