Can we be married at your Church?
To be married at St Margaret’s, one of you must live within the parish boundaries or be a regular worshipper here and on our electoral roll. (Church membership roll) or have a qualifying connection with the parish: that you used to live here, your parents still live here or you were baptised here. If you meet these criteria you have a legal right to be married here and we will marry you after calling your banns (see FAQ 2).
We define being a regular worshipper here as at least a year’s worth of regular attendance (at least twice a month) at Mass, either on a Sunday or during the week. If there is no existing qualifying connection to the parish, but you still want to marry here, then the simplest solution is to come to Mass and become one of the congregation!
To check if you live within the Parish boundaries, see the map above (click on it to see an enlarged version)
If either you or your partner is a foreign national, then a special licence needs to be obtained. Please speak with Fr David at the earliest opportunity so we might advise on this.
VERY IMPORTANT!!! – If you move house out of the parish between booking your wedding and the actual date you may disqualify yourself from being married in the right Church. If you are considering such a move please contact Fr David at the earliest opportunity.
What if I have been married before? What about Same-Sex Marriage?
The issue of re-marriage can be complex and delicate. The Church recognises this as it affects not only you but also the wider community and especially members of your first family. If either you or your partner are divorced and your former spouse is still living we will, therefore, take extra care to help you navigate the best way of celebrating this new beginning.
We are permitted to marry divorcees subject to certain discussions and criteria having been met. Fr David will be very happy to discuss the possibility with you. Please contact him directly to arrange a meeting.
Although the civil law allows for same-sex couples to be married in the UK, the Church of England is not permitted by Parliament or the Church for such a marriage to take place in Church.
We try to be an open, inclusive and accepting Church and welcome everyone, just as Jesus accepted everyone. In this spirit it is possible to offer a Service of Dedication and Blessing following a Civil Marriage or Civil Partnership of any couple. Please speak with Fr David about this possibility.
What if my partner isn’t Church of England?
If your partner is, for example, a Roman Catholic or a Methodist, or of another faith, their banns must still be read in their local CHURCH OF ENGLAND church. This is a purely legal requirement.
If you would like a minister from another denomination to take part in the ceremony, we will be happy to discuss this. For legal reasons, however, the exchange of vows must be conducted by a Church of England Priest.
If your partner is a foreign national, special provision must be made and you should contact FR David as soon as possible.
If your partner has atheistic objections to making vows before Almighty God, then we really need to have a serious talk. We do not wish to ask people to act hypocritically or against their wishes, and perhaps you should talk through further what the commitment of marriage signifies to both of you, and whether a compromise can be found. However, we take these vows seriously and expect that you will want to do the same.