Data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has shown that just over 20% of marriages – 21.1% of opposite sex marriages and 0.9% of same-sex marriages – were religious that year.
The proportion represents a further decline from 2017, when 22% of all marriages were religious – itself a historic low. Religious ceremonies made up almost 85% of all marriages in 1900 and more than 50% in 1980.
The National Secular Society has said the figures show the need for legal reform.
Currently, couples in England and Wales must get married in a registered building, with the exception of Jewish and Quaker weddings.
Recent proposals for the reform of wedding law from the Law Commission would introduce an officiant-based system which would give couples more freedom over where they choose to marry.
The NSS, which argues for reform of the marriage laws to separate its religious and civic aspects, has expressed support for this proposal.
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