Marrying In Church – Frequently Asked Questions

Do we have to live in the parish where we wish to be married?

Lots of people marry in their own local church, but we know that you might like to marry in a church away from where you live because it has special significance for you through family or other connections.
An engaged couple can now do just that if either of you can show just one of the seven connections below with the parish you wish to be married in.

You can marry in a CofE church if you can show:-

That one of you:

•has at any time lived in the parish for a period of at least 6 months or
•was baptised in the parish concerned or
•was prepared for confirmation in the parish or
•has at any time regularly gone to normal church services in the parish church for a period of at least 6 months 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 months or
•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

Even if you cannot demonstrate any of the above connections, we want to help you explore whether it may still be possible for you to marry in your special church. Please call us on 01380 850789 or Email us.

“I’m not christened and I don’t go to church. Can I still have a church wedding?”

Yes!!

“My partner believes in God but I’m not sure. Would I be hypocritical to marry in church?”

You are welcome to have a Church of England wedding, regardless of your beliefs. We understand that spiritual beliefs are complex and varied. This need not be a barrier to a church wedding.

“What are banns and why do we need them?”

Banns are an announcement in church of your intention to marry and a chance for anyone to put forward a reason why the marriage may not lawfully take place. Banns need to be read in the parish where each of you lives as well as the parish church in which you are to be married, if that is somewhere else. You must have your banns read out in church for three Sundays during the three months before the wedding. This is often done over three consecutive Sundays but does not have to be.

“How do I find our parish church for our banns?”

If you’re marrying in one of our churches but do not live in the parish, you also need to have your banns read in your local parish church as part of the legal preparations. The Church of England’s church-finding web site will help you locate your parish church.

Just visit A Church Near You and type your postcode into the search box. Follow the instructions after that and your parish church should be listed.

Get in touch with your parish church to tell them your wedding date and that you require local banns, and they will organise that for you. Don’t forget to collect your banns certificate and give it to us before your wedding.

“I’m divorced. Can I still get married in church?”

We believe that marriage is for life, but also recognise that sadly, some marriages do fail. The Church of England agreed in 2002 that divorced people could remarry in church with the discretion of the individual parish priest. The first step is to contact us and have a conversation to find a way forward.