Our churches are a very popular venues for weddings and we are happy to help you arrange your wedding here, and discuss the present rules for marriage in church.
Church of England Marriage Services
To be married in church should be one of the happiest days of your life. It is the legal commitment of a man and a woman "for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish," until parted by death. At the Heart of England Parishes we will do all that we can to help you make the most of your special day.
Because Marriage is a legal undertaking there are a few rules that have to be observed. In particular:
You must be legally able to Marry.
While this is not a full guide to the law, it means things like:
- you should be aged over 16
- not presently married to someone else (or in a Civil Partnership)
- not closely related to your intended partner
- you must both be of EEU nationality (evidence in the form of a passport or similar will be required)
- and for a Church of England marriage you must also have a "qualifying connection" to the Parish (see explanation below) or regularly Worship at that church. (The only exception to this rule is where you can obtain a Special Licence)
Is my home in one of these Parishes?
The whole of England is divided into "Parishes" and everybody has the right to be married in their parish church. If you want to check whether you live in one of our parishes then follow the link here, put in your postcode to search for which parish you live in. As long as one of you live in one of our 6 parishes then you can get married in that parish church. (It does not mean you can get married in any of the other churches in our group)
If you do not live in any of the parishes then you can only be married here if you have a Qualifying Connection (see below) or you regularly attend the church and become a member (join the Church Electoral Roll). To discuss this or any other aspect of a proposed marriage please contact the Administrator.
In addition to the existing rights to be married at a church, there is a new law which came into force in October 2008 which allows anyone who can show a "Qualifying Connection" to be married at the church they have a connection with. This should be good news for many people who were previously unable to be married at a particular church which they feel is important to them.
However the new law does not give everyone the right to be married at any church they please, but only in a place they are connected with.
The new law is called the "Church of England Marriage Measure 2008" and it describes seven different sorts of qualifying connections in addition to residence in a Parish, and Worship at a particular church. The 7 new Qualifying Connections are:
- Where that person was Baptised in the parish. (This does not apply if the service was a combined service of baptism and confirmation.)
- Where that person had their Confirmation entered in the register of confirmations in that parish.
- Where that person has at any time in their life lived for at least 6 months in that parish.
- Where that person has at any time in their life regularly attended worship in the parish for at least 6 months.
- Where a Parent of that person has at any time during that person's lifetime lived in the parish for at least 6 months.
- Where a Parent of that person has at any time during that person's lifetime regularly attended worship in the parish for at least 6 months.
- Where a Parent or Grandparent of that person was married in the parish.
If you have any questions about this then please contact us to discuss whether you might have a Qualifying Connection, or any other aspect of getting married at one of the Heart of England Parishes' churches.
Service of Blessing
Some couples choose to have a Civil Wedding (in this country or abroad) and then come to Church later for a Service of Blessing. We are happy to arrange such a service for you.
Sometimes a couple will choose to mark a significant Wedding Anniversary (25th, 40th, 50th etc) by coming to church for prayers. If you would like arrange something like this please contact the Rector to discuss it.
How do I arrange a Marriage Service?
To apply to be married at one of our churches, please come to any of the Sunday Services there and ask to speak to the minister or Churchwarden after the service. They will hand you an application form to complete and return to the Parish Office. On this form you will be asked for your prefered date and time for the service. (Usually we can accomodate your first choice, sometimes we have to offer a slightly earlier or later time on the same day, to allow sufficient time for every wedding held at that particular church.) The form needs to be signed by one or both of the couple.
When you book we also ask you to pay a deposit of £150 which will then be deducted from your final fee. The total cost of a wedding here varies depending on which church you choose and whether you choose to have optional items like Bells (only available at Bidford and Salford Priors), Organ, etc, sadly the price also goes up a little every year! A breakdown of the costs for 2023 is shown below:
|Banns Certificate (if reqd)||£17|
|Heating (if reqd)||£100|