Getting married in a Church of England Church has never been easier.
Couples where one partner lives within the parish boundary have always had an automatic right to marriage in the parish church.
If you would like to know which parish you live in then visit the Parish Finder website and put your postcode into the search box.
However, recently these rights have been extended to people with a ‘Qualifying Connection’. A Qualifying Connection applies if either one of the couple:
- Was baptised in the parish
- Had his/her confirmation entered in the church register book of the churches in the Parish
- Has at any time had his or her usual place of residence in the Parish for at least 6 months, or
- Has at any time habitually attended public worship in the Parish for at least 6 months
Or if a parent of the person has at any time during that person’s lifetime:
- Had his or her usual place of residence in the parish for at least 6 months, or
- Habitually attended public worship in the parish for at least 6 months, or
- If a parent or grandparent of that person was married in the Parish.
If you don’t have a Qualifying Connection then Don’t Worry we will help you to fulfil the requirements for ‘habitual attendance’ in the list above.
Once we’ve established your Qualifying Connection we can move to the next stage of the process called ‘Calling the Banns’.
Calling of your Banns
This involves reading out your intention to be married in church and provides the opportunity for anyone who knows a legal reason why you should not marry to declare it to the minister.
We must “call” your banns on three occasions during one of our Sunday worship services. This normally takes place one full month prior to your wedding date on the first three Sundays of the month at our 10.30am service at St James’ Church. Please inform us if you worship regularly at one of our other Sunday services and we will call your banns at that service as well.
Please note that banns must also be called in any other parish in which either the Bride or Groom resides or is on the Electoral Roll. While we try to be as helpful as we can, it is not possible for us to organise this for you and so you are responsible for organising banns to be read in all other churches. What we can do is point you in the right direction!
You will need to:
- contact your local Parish Church and complete an application form for Banns of Marriage
- Collect a Banns of Marriage Certificate from those churches once your banns have been read. A charge will be made by that church.
- Send this Banns of Marriage Certificate to us immediately.
Legally we cannot marry you until we receive this certificate, so it is really important that you organise this well in advance of your wedding, but again we will explain all this to you and give you the information that you need.
Next: Preparing for marriage