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Firsts, Lasts & Fakes 29 July 2010

Posted by Dr Moose in Church, Faith, Life, Ponderings, University.

In an attempt to concentrate on quality rather than quantity, that is, blogging rather than simple Facebook posts, here are some brief thoughts from the day.

A first, or at least, the first for a long time, was the sight of a pair of Green Woodpeckers near to the Sunley Management Centre at the University. I knew what they were, at least, even if I’m not sure whether I’ve seen them before. So definitely noteworthy… and hopefully I might be able to enhance the picture of one by the roadside that I took on my mobile phone.

On the topic of “Lasts”, today was my Methodist colleague’s last day as 0.5 Chaplain at the University. After 12 years Heather has now retired, leaving me not only as the first formal Co-ordinating Chaplain, but also as the only 0.5 paid Chaplain. I know it was coming, but it’s still hit me like a brick and I’m not sure how I’m going to cope. Still, if God’s in it, and I believe he is, then, to quite T S Elliot, “All shall be well and all manner of thing shall be well.”

And fakes? Well on the day that a 61 year old Vicar is found guilty of conducting 360 sham marriages over a four year period (not a bad little earner as current incumbent fees are £123 a pop!) I have a question of language. The word “fake” and “sham” have been used interchangeably throughout the reporting of this and similar cases. My question/observation is this: surely, even if a marriage has been conducted for the sole intention of acquiring a legal immigration status, doesn’t the marriage itself remain valid, if meaningless? If all the legal forms have been obeyed, even if both parties have no intention of consummating the marriage, legally the marriage exists as a fact, surely. Can the marriage be so easily dissolved, or does the law permit such a simple declaration, to the effect that a marriage contracted for immigration purposes and never consummated is not a marriage, even when witnessed in word, deed and writing? Are the couple served an enforced instant annulment, or would they legally require a divorce should, at some point, one wish to marry legitimately, especially if the putative marriage were to occur in a West African state of the Commonwealth?

And on that question, I leave you… for a Wedding Visit!



1. Andii - 2 August 2010

Of course, the question of ‘fake’ marriages would ask interesting questions of historical marriages undertaken for dynastic or political reasons … but somehow we don’t ask the same questions about those …

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