If you are thinking of getting married – CONGRATULATIONS!
Marriage is a joyful but solemn undertaking to commit yourself to another person for the rest of your life whatever happens in the future. It’s a challenge but also a great adventure in which both partners can grow and flourish. The most important reason for choosing a church wedding is because it is a spiritual covenant, or agreement – you will be taking your vows before God and asking for God’s help in the years of marriage to come. That is, for Christians, the central reason for marrying in a church.
We’re delighted to talk to any couple who are considering getting married at St Nicholas Church.
(See some pictures of previous weddings at St Nicholas church.)
Where can I be married?
There are rules governing marriage in Church of England churches.
The Marriage Measure allows people who have a ‘qualifying connection’ with a church but are not resident in the parish or on the electoral roll to marry in that church. It allows people who grew up in a parish but moved away for work or study to come back to the parish to marryin the parish church if they have a ‘qualifying connection’. There is a ‘qualifying connection’ if a person:
- Was baptised in the parish, or
- Had his/her confirmation entered in a church register book of a church or chapel in the parish, or
- Has at any time had his/her usual place of residence in the parish for at least 6 months, or
- A parent of that person has at any time during that person’s lifetime had his/her place of residence in the parish for at least 6 months, or
- A parent or grandparent of that person was married in the parish.
(What parish is a particular address in? Check here…)
Getting married in St Nicholas Church does not have to be expensive – there are two groups of costs:
- The required legal fee which is set by the Church of England nationally. This includes the cost of the Vicar, the church, calling your banns, the marriage certificate, lighting and all routine administration. (This can vary a little depending on your circumstances. For example if one or both partners live outside the parish there will be an additional Banns cost. A Superintendent Registrar’s Certificate or Common Licence, which are sometimes required instead of Banns, have a different cost.) This fee changes each year based on the RPI. Details of current fees, and likely fees for next year, can be found on the Church of England website.
- There are also some optional extras which many couples add to the basic cost e.g. organ, choir, bells, flowers. You can choose to have none, some or all of these extras. Please contact the Parish Office for details of these costs.
What if one of us has been married before?
We acknowledge that sometimes marriages fail for a variety of reasons. In some circumstances it is possible to be married in church if either one of you has been married before. If this is the case you will need to speak to the vicar who will follow the Church of England guidelines and will be sympathetic to your case.
Non-EEA nationals who wish to marry in the Church of England will need to complete civil (i.e. a Superintendent Registrar’s Certificate) rather than church (i.e. Banns of Marriage or Common Licence) preliminaries. Therefore, ALL couples need to provide evidence of their nationality before Banns can be read. In most cases you will need to produce passports, but some other types of evidence might be acceptable; the Registration of Marriages Regulations 2015, which prescribes the specified evidence, is available here…
What do I do next?
You need to contact our church administrator and arrange an appointment with the vicar who will help you with the legal preliminaries and practical arrangements.