Getting Married in Church
If you would like to be married at Christ Church or St Paul's a good first step is to come to Sunday services and get a feel for our church. From that the vicar (John) will visit you to get to know you both, answer any questions, book the date (please do not book anything before booking the church), and discuss the service.
We encourage couples to attend a Marriage Preparation Course which is designed from a Christian perspective to think through and discuss together many of the things that it is wise to have considered before making such a wonderful life-long commitment.
The Banns are read in church on three consecutive Sundays in Church usually two months before your wedding day. In the week of the service there will be a short rehearsal in church to make you feel comfortable.
The vicar acts as a Registrar under English law and, as such, is permitted to marry people who live within the parish. If neither partner lives in the parish, then you can join the Parish Roll through regular church attendance for at least six months. (This is not to make things difficult, but for us to follow the law.)
If one or both partners live in another parish, banns will need to be read in those churches and there is a cost of around £44. Otherwise, the legal registry side of things is done for you.
Couples have the right to be married in their parish church and / or of the parish church where they usually worship and have joined the Church’s Electoral Roll. Couples are also able to be married in the parish church of a parish to which either can demonstrate just one of any of the following ‘qualifying connections’.
If either of the couple:
i) have at any time lived in the parish for a period of at least six months;
ii) were baptised in the parish concerned
iii) were prepared for confirmation in the parish (and entered in a confirmation register in the parish);
iv) have at any time habitually gone to normal church services in the parish church for a period of six months; or
If any of the couple’s parents, at any time during the applicant’s lifetime:
v) have lived in the parish for a period of at least six month;
vi) have habitually gone to normal church services in the parish church for a period of at least six months; or
If any of the couple’s parents or grandparents
vii) were married in the parish;
then the couple are deemed to have a ‘qualifying connection’ to that parish. Couples are able to choose between marrying in any of the churches where they have a legal entitlement to marry.