It is a real joy to celebrate with couples who wish to confirm their love for each other by getting married in Church. If you wish to take the next step in your relationship we hope these notes will help to answer some of your questions.
First and most importantly… thank God for each other. You are embarking on an adventure together, which will last for the rest of your lives. A wedding is one of life’s great moments, a time of solemn commitment as well as good wishes, feasting and joy. Marriage is intended by God to be a creative relationship, as his blessing enables husband and wife to love and support each other in good times and in bad, and to share in the care and upbringing of children. For Christians, marriage is also an invitation to share life together in the spirit of Jesus Christ. It is based upon a solemn, public and life-long covenant between a man and a woman, declared and celebrated in the presence of God and before witnesses.
Here are some prayers you might like to use …
Creator God, you have sown in our hearts the seeds of longing and affection that we might grow together in mutual trust and love. Bless this time of preparation that we may rejoice with our families and friends on the day of our wedding and in the company of Christ our Lord. Amen.
Eternal God, bless our hopes and dreams. May these come true through our faith in each other and our trust in you. Teach us how great is the joy that comes from sharing; how deep the love that grows with giving. Lead us in peace to our wedding day and be in our hearts and our homes now and forever. Amen.
The Legalities… The normal legal mechanism for getting married in church is to be married by Banns. This requires one of you either to live within the parish of the church in which you wish to be married or to worship there regularly be on the Electoral Roll of that parish or to have done so for a period of at least six months during your life. If your parents or grandparents were baptised or married in the church you may also be able to be married there yourself. If none of these criteria apply, then you may be able to apply for a Special License. Banns also need to be called in any other parishes in which either of you lives.
Previous marriages… If you, or your partner, are divorced there are additional complications and you will need to make an appointment to meet with me as soon as possible before any further arrangements can be made. As a minister of the Church I am placed in something of a dilemma by the issue of remarriage for divorced people. On the one hand I want to be as open and welcoming as possible. I want to emphasise that the Christian faith offers new life and the possibility of a new start. On the other hand I want to be true to the Church’s teaching through the centuries that marriage is a permanent life-long commitment. If we treat the issue of remarriage too lightly we run the risk of further weakening the status of marriage, so we tend to err on the side of caution.
Cost – Statutory fees
Fees for marriage service in Church can be found in the following link http://www.yourchurchwedding.org/your-wedding/the-cost-of-church-weddings.aspx These fees are set by the government and are split between the diocese and the local church.
There are also fees to pay for the ‘extras’; the organist, bells and so on. At St Andrew’s these charges are; Verger – £30.00, Organist – £65.00, Choir – £100.00 and Bells- £200.00
And finally …
Here at the Church we want your wedding day to be very special, where you can encounter God’s love and the love of all those who care for you, so if you would like to book a wedding or have any have any other questions or thoughts, however trivial they may seem to you, please phone the Church Office on 01934 742535
Useful link: http://www.yourchurchwedding.org/default.aspx