13 JUNE 1931, Page 3

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The Church and Divorce The Archbishop last week, in the Upper House of the Convocation of Canterbury, nominated seven bishops to a joint committee which, with a similar committee from York Convocation, will consider the implications of the Lambeth findings on marriage and divorce. It is high time that the Church of England defined its attitude and standardized its practice, however difficult this may be. The Bishop of Salisbury stated that, whereas in 1871 the proportion of divorces granted to marriages celebrated was 1 in 1,169, the proportion in 1929 was 1 in 92. He contrasted the Church view of marriage as a lifelong contract with the secular idea of it as a terminable agreement, and declared that it might be well to have a civil ceremony in all cases, followed only by a religious service where the parties desire it. The Bishop of Norwich inclined to the same solution. Yet the Bishops know well that the average bride still desires a marriage in Church, however lax she may be in her attendance at other times. Moreover, the practice of the Church as by law established has somehow to be co-ordinated with the rights of persons under the law of the land.