WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO HAVE A WEDDING IN CHURCH?
Thinking of getting married? Many congratulations!
In our churches we uphold the traditional teaching of the Church about marriage, that it is the gift of God in creation and a means of grace and that it should be undertaken as a lifelong commitment.
If you would like to get married at St Giles’, St Mary’s or St Bartholomew’s do contact us as soon as possible. We will do all we can to ensure your wedding day is a very happy one and that your marriage begins on the firmest of foundations. You will be invited to make your solemn promises to each other, not only in front of your family and friends but in the sight of God and with God’s blessing.
We will help you to prepare for your marriage, both with the logistics as well as emotionally and spiritually.
All three churches are very close to many leading reception venues.
What should I do first of all?
You are encouraged to come along and worship at our churches on a Sunday to ensure that you are comfortable with the type of worship and are happy to make our church your spiritual home.
Services at St Giles’ are at 9.30am on the first, third, fourth and fifth Sundays of the month and 10.00am on the second Sunday. Services at St Mary’s are all at 11.30am and at St Bartholomew’s are at 10.30am and 6.30pm on the second and fourth Sundays respectively. However, please check the calendar page of this website before setting out.
When you have attended a church service and are sure that this is the church for you, you should make an appointment to see the priest, Father Jason Phillips, at email@example.com, or by contacting the church office. Father Jason will agree a date and complete a wedding application form with you for your chosen church. He will pass your details to the church wedding co-ordinator who will make contact with you and be your primary link for support. When you meet Father Jason you must bring with you a form of photo identification – either a current passport or photographic driving licence – and proof of residency.
Special requirements to be married in our churches
We are delighted to marry all couples who come to us requesting a marriage service providing the legal requirements are met and you can prove that:
If you are a foreign national your application will need to be referred to the civil registrar for an additional licence. Father Jason will be able to help you with this procedure if necessary.
The publication of banns is a legal requirement where, on a Sunday morning, your intention to marry is announced to the community and is part of the process of confirming if you are legally able to marry. This is done over the first three Sundays of the month, typically two to three months prior to your wedding.
Father Jason will inform you of these dates. At least one of the couple is required to be present on each of these Sundays (both should aim to be there) during the service and should make themselves know to the priest or lay reader leading the service, and the wedding co-ordinator. Many parents and other family members like to attend too and will be very welcome.
What if I have been divorced?
Although marriage is a lifelong commitment, the church recognizes that occasionally break down and result in divorce. If one or both of you has been divorced then Father Jason will want to discuss with you how the previous marriage went wrong, and also discuss the needs and concerns of any children from the previous marriage.
Father Jason will want to see that all efforts have been made to establish good relations with the previous marriage partner and that sufficient time has elapsed since the decree absolute.
You will need to bring the original Decree Absolute Certificate with you when you make the wedding application. If Father Jason is happy to marry you, then you can be married under the same qualifying conditions as any other couple.
What if one of us practices a different religion?
If one of you belongs to another faith which is not Christian, then it is still possible for you to get married but you must have the normal Christian service.
What does it cost to have a church wedding?
At the time of booking the wedding co-ordinator or parish administrator will inform you of the costs. These are also detailed on church noticeboards and the Church of England website as they are set nationally. You should be aware that is your wedding is over a year away the charges payable will have increased slightly, typically in line with inflation.
The vows that you make are at the heart of our wedding day. Church is the only place you can make promises this big to each other. By making these promises in church, you invite a loving and profoundly caring God to help you keep them – ‘I (name), take you (name), to be my wife/husband, to have and to hold from this day forward; for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish till death us do part’.
The Reverend Dr Jason Phillips – firstname.lastname@example.org and 01543 432728
Parish Administrator – Lynne Mills – email@example.com and 07721 767963
For further information visit the Church of England Wedding website: http://www.yourchurchwedding.org