Congratulations. You are planning your wedding!
Christian marriage is a religious and family celebration. It is also a public bond governed by the laws of the land. This means that everyone has the right to be married in the parish where they live or regularly attend worship. It is also possible for couples to marry in a parish with which they have a historic ‘qualifying connection’.
A church wedding is not just about a beautiful venue – it’s about making a lifelong commitment to another person in the sight and presence of God and wider community. For many couples they sense or feel God even if they are not followers of Jesus or members of a local church – but if you engage with the real meaning of a church wedding then you will probably find the experience a deeply moving occasion (as well as a fun, exciting and joyous one).
Can you get married in one of our churches?
The three churches in our benefice are all suitable for weddings, though Little Ness could only fit 70 people or so. Changes in recent years to marriage legislation mean that marriage in a particular Church of England parish church is now possible on the basis of a wider range of connections. The rules are as follows:
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
“Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”— (1 Corinthians 13.4–7)
There is a required legal fee for marrying in a church. In 2018, it costs £517 if you marry away from where you live and £474 if you marry in your home parish. This is set by the Church of England nationally and is the same for every church.
This basic legal fee includes:
- the cost of the vicar
- the church
- calling your banns
- a banns
- the marriage certificate
- lighting and all administration.
This required fee has ancient origins and ensures your church can maintain essential services like weddings, christenings, funerals and all kinds of other ministries for you and your community.
It does not include flowers, organist or bell ringing fees.
Preparing the day and your future together
We are completely committed to marriage and supporting couples in their lives together. Our desire is that everyone who is married in the benefice of the Church around the Cliffe has the opportunity, not only to have a great wedding service, but also the chance to invest in their on-going relationship.
We therefore ask couples to come along to 6 evenings of Marriage Preparation which
includes some practical planning for the actual service and some great input for building relationships that last.
Every marriage service in the Church around the Cliffe is a unique and special occasion. We give all the couples that get married a chance to have an active involvement in the planning of the service so that it reflects something of who they are. By having your service in church, you will make life long vows and promises to one another in the presence of family, friends and God.
For further information do go onto the Church of England website www.yourchurchwedding.org which is really helpful on a lot of matters.
We look forward to hearing from you. All contact details are below.