FEWER people are tying the knot in Renfrewshire and East Renfrewshire, new figures have revealed.

The number of people who got married in Renfrewshire between April and June this year was down by four per cent compared to the same period last year, according to the National Records of Scotland.

And, in East Renfrewshire, seven per cent fewer people said ‘I do’ in that period this year compared to 2016.

Same sex marriages in Renfrewshire halved between those periods and, in East Renfrewshire, they went up by a third.

In Scotland as a whole, there were 8,017 marriages registered between April and June this year, which was slightly down on the same period in 2016.

The number of same sex marriages in Scotland fell from 282 to 244.

The Church of Scotland has said it cannot draw any conclusions from the drop in both areas but has urged people who love each other to consider getting married.

The Reverend Norman Smith, convener of the Church’s Mission and Discipleship Council, added: “When couples stand in a church, where generations have stood before pledging their love to one another, it is a reminder that human love endures.

“The Christian God is a God of love who delights in people and a Church of Scotland wedding is an opportunity for a couple to pledge their love before God, among the circle of friends and family who will support their union throughout their lives.

“We would encourage anyone considering marriage to remember their local church when thinking about their very special day.”

Earlier this month, it was revealed that Catholic marriages hit a 75-year low in Scotland as figures from the National Registrar for Scotland’s Annual Review of Demographic Trends showed there were just 1,346 services conducted by clergy from the Roman Catholic Church last year.

A spokesman for the Diocese of Paisley said: “The fall in the number of Catholic couples opting to marry in church mirrors falls in church-based weddings elsewhere.

“Catholic couples may be using the services of other celebrants while still deciding to marry. It is to be hoped that future generations of Catholics will see the value of a wedding in church.”

The National Records of Scotland statistics also showed the number of births in Renfrewshire went down by two per cent between April and June this year compared to last year.

In East Renfrewshire, the number of babies being born went up by three per cent between those periods.

Births declined across Scotland as a whole, going from 13,930 in the second quarter of 2016 to 12,964 this year.