IMPORTANT: You must speak to the incumbent about whether or not you can be married in one of our churches before setting a date or booking reception venues.
Although we use the word "marriage," the Church offers something quite distinctive, which is more fully called Holy Matrimony. This is the formal union of a man and a woman by which they become husband and wife. Christian marriage places this state completely within the provenance of God (hence it is holy), and holds the example of Jesus The Christ as the way to live together in all circumstances. The Church of England thoroughly believes in marriage for the wellbeing of individuals and society; it also upholds this union as the optimum relationship in which the vocation of parenthood is exercised.
If you are thinking of embarking on this great adventure of commitment, you can contact us to talk it over if you want a "sounding board," or, if the question has already been popped - and accepted! - we are here to help you through the preparation, ceremony, and your subsequent new life together.
Thanks to a change in the law a few years ago, there are now several more connections to a parish church that enable you to marry there, in addition to the previous residential and church electoral roll laws, which remain extant.
If one of you:
has at any time lived in the parish for a period of at least 6 months *
was baptised in the parish concerned
was prepared for confirmation in the parish
has at any time regularly gone to normal church services in the parish church for a period of at least 6 months
(NB. this is not a device by which attendance is simply to qualify; it is for people who have been in the past - or are becoming, as ongoing members - part of the relevant worshipping community. You cannot set a date based on an assumption that you just turn up for 6 months before the wedding.)
Or that one of your parents, at any time after you were born:
has lived in the parish for a period of at least 6 month *
has regularly gone to normal church services in the parish church for a period of at least 6 months
Or that one of your parents or grandparents:
- was married in the parish
* Residency means that it is your permanent and main residency. If you are claiming that there is a connection through a holiday or second home, proof will be required that one of you or your parents (during the lifetime of the relevant person getting married), had previous residential status; this will normally mean that that person's name was on the government roll of electors for the required time qualification.
There are a few finer points that may need to be explained (eg, there is a special procedure if either of you has been married before and that former spouse is still alive). In any case, you will be speaking to the rector in order to arrange the wedding, so feel free to ask him specific questions.
In the meantime, the Church of England has a site that you may find of further use in thinking about and arranging your wedding; click on the following link: