Our church buildings offer centuries of history with a peaceful atmosphere that makes marrying there a very special time.
The Church of England gives all British citizens, with no former spouse still living, the right to get married in the parish church where they live or in the church where they have a “Qualifying Connection”.
If neither of you live in the parish this does not stop you from marrying at any of our churches but it does mean that you will need to provide evidence of a “Qualifying Connection”. Since 2008 couples have had the opportunity to marry in a church which has special significance for them, even though neither of them live in the parish. Now the couple must prove, to the Rector’s satisfaction, that:
If a qualifying connection can not be made to the Rector’s satisfaction then in order to be legally married in the church, at least one of them must attend public worship in the church twice a month for 6 months.
Having a wedding in church is different in a number of ways from a wedding in a registry office or stately home, and below you will find information that is specific to our churches that you need to be aware of as you plan for your special day. You might also like to take a look at the Prepare For Marriage website which has some down-to-earth, practical tips to help you in the planning process.
Whether you live in the parish or outside it, you will normally have your Banns published. Before Banns can be read you will need to meet with the Rector who will speak with you and fill in the necessary forms with you.
Please note, that if one of you is not a British citizen or one of you does not live in England then the normal procedure will be to apply for a Common Licence; the Rector will advise you if this is the case when he meets with you.
The publication of Banns is the public announcement by the minister, during our main morning services, that you wish to marry and that if anyone knows of any legal reason why you may not be married then they are to declare it at the time.
You must have your Banns read out in church on 3 Sundays during the 3 months before the wedding. There will be a small fee for this. About 5 months before the wedding, the Rector will let you know when your Banns will be read.
The Banns must be read in the church where the wedding is to be held, as well as the parish churches of where each of you live. A certificate stating that the Banns have been published must be obtained from each church in which the Banns are published, and must be given to the minister who is taking the wedding before the wedding can take place. The certificate is usually handed over at the Rehearsal.
The wedding rehearsal will normally take place a day or two before the wedding itself.
The legal fees for a wedding cover the publication of Banns, the wedding service and a certificate of marriage.
These fees do not cover any extras you may wish to have for the service, such as an organist, verger, bell-ringers, flowers, heating, etc. You will need to discuss these with the Rector.
We would prefer the payment of the wedding fees to be done via a BACS transfer direct from your account, and the Rector will provide the details you need in order to do that. But if that is not possible then we can accept a cheque (as long as it is given in sufficient time to clear), or cash as a last resort.
Video recording of the service or any photography during the service is not permitted unless written permission has been granted by the minister before the wedding ceremony takes place.
When the bride starts walking up the aisle that is the start of the service, and once the registers have been signed, that is the end of the service. Photographs may then be taken of you “signing the registers” and as you both walk down the aisle and out of the church as husband and wife.
The law requires you to be accompanied by at least two credible witnesses at your wedding, they will sign the registers at the end of the wedding ceremony.
Witnesses may be relatives, friends or colleagues. They must be 18 years or over, and able to speak and understand English, and sign their name.
Please do ensure that whoever you choose as a witness is happy to carry out this responsibility.
If you would like to enquire about the possibility of a wedding at one of our churches, or if you need your Banns read because you are marrying elsewhere, then we would be grateful if you would fill out the appropriate form.
We look forward to hopefully meeting you both and doing what we can to make your wedding day a very special occasion.
This page was last updated: 21st March 2015.
The information given is for general guidance only and is not intended to be a definitive statement of the law or the Church’s practice.