Weddings at St Mary's

Marriages and Civil Partnerships

If you live within the boundaries of St Mary's Parish you have a right to be married at St Mary's so long as there is no legal impediment. You do not need to have been baptised. You can also qualify if you can show that you have a historical connection with the Church or the Parish (e.g. you used to live in the parish, your parents or grandparents were married here; or you were baptised at St Mary's). Click here to see if you live within St Mary's Parish.

Church Members are also able to marry at St Mary's. Becoming a member means worshipping here regularly (at least twice a month for 6 months) and applying to go on the Church Electoral Roll (not the same thing as the local government electoral register). You must be baptised.

Christianity and Marriage

A wedding ceremony marks only the beginning of a marriage and is a public witness before God to the love that two people have for each other. Getting married in church makes certain themes clearer: the idea of a covenant between the couple reflects the relationship between God and the world; the idea of the ‘sacrament of marriage’ reflects the miracle of what God is doing in human lives as the couple make promises to each other.

You can find out a lot more at yourchurchwedding.org.

Many couples choose to worship at St Mary’s as part of their wedding preparation. It’s a great way to become connected to the church and the community of which you will be a part as husband and wife.

 

Marriage after Divorce

At St Mary’s we understand that some marriages fail and we try to help people rebuild their lives in new relationships. If one or both you have been divorced and would like to discuss the possibility of being married a second time in church please do not hesitate to speak to one of the clergy. We suggest you do this before confirming the date with us.

 

Marriage for Same Sex Couples and Civil Partnerships

At St Mary’s we want to be able to offer as much as the law allows for same-sex couples who are marrying or those entering into a Civil Partnership. We regret it is not currently legally possible to marry same-sex couples in church, much as the Vicar might wish to be able to. At St Mary’s we try to do all we can to help people celebrate their relationship together including special services of prayer and dedication after a Civil Marriage.

Contact us

We really value the personal touch in helping you with your wedding plans so we encourage you to come to our Office Hour where one of the clergy is available in Church to discuss your thoughts and ideas.

If you are unable to attend the office then please contact the Vicar directly at:

[email protected]

Next Steps

Apart from coming to our Office Hour, you can download the wedding information pack for the current year. This will give you plenty of further information including the statutory and local fees.

Click here to see if you live within St Mary’s Parish.

 

Legal information

Everyone resident within the parish boundaries has a right to be married by banns at St Mary’s so long as there is no legal impediment. You do not need to have been baptised. It is also possible to be married at St Mary’s if you can show that you have a historical connection with the Church (e.g. you used to live in the parish, your parents or grandparents were married here; or you were baptised at St Mary’s.

Church Members are also able to be married at St Mary’s. Becoming a member means worshipping here regularly (at least twice a month for 6 months) and applying to go on the Church Electoral Roll (which isn’t the same thing as the local government electoral register). You have to be baptised.

 

The Church of England

Marriage in the Church of England can be authorised in a number of ways.

I. Banns are the easiest and most commonly used method. They involve notice of your forthcoming wedding being read out in both the bride and the groom’s parish churches on three Sundays in the period three months before the wedding. If you both live in the same parish that is all that you need to do but if one of you lives in another parish banns will have to be called there too. It is customary for couples to attend the calling of their banns. These will take place during the main act of worship on Sundays. Attendance will help you feel more comfortable with the church surroundings and this will have obvious benefits in terms of your nervousness on the big day.

II. Licences are a quicker method than banns but more expensive. A common licence is usual where one or both people are foreign nationals, and a Special licence allows people to be married without the usual requirement of living in the parish or belonging to the Electoral Roll.

III. Superintendent Registrar’s Certificate. This is becoming a more common way of getting married for those where Banns or Licences are for some reason difficult. We now encourage many foreign nationals (especially Non-EU or non-Commonwealth Citizens) to use this route.

Full details on each of these ways of getting married can be obtained at Office Hour.

Read more about Marriage in the Church of England:

The text of the 1928 (old language) wedding ceremony
The text of the modern language (Common Worship 2000) wedding ceremony
The text of the 1662 (very old language) wedding ceremony