We are delighted that you are planning your wedding and thinking about
celebrating such a special occasion within a Church.
We believe that God is love and that the love we experience and share one with another is a gift from God. Marriage within a church means that you are choosing to celebrate and commit to that love within God’s presence as well as seeking and receiving God’s blessing upon your life together.
We would love it if you wanted to be married here at St James’ and would be privileged to share in, and help you through the journey towards, your big day!
However, before we can proceed we do need to be sure that you can legally get married here, and that one of you fulfils the legal criteria set out below.
To be married in any Church of England church one or both of you needs to fulfil just one of the criteria set out below:
• you live in the parish (see parish boundaries, or ask us if unsure), or have lived in the parish for at least six months at any time in the past
• you have your name on the church electoral roll as a regular worshipper, or have worshipped here regularly for at least six months in the past
• you have been baptised or confirmed in the parish yourselves
• you have parents who have, at any time, lived or worshipped in the parish for at least six months
• you have parents or grandparents who were married here
Also where one of you has been divorced, there will be a need for some further conversations and legal documents to be seen, but it does not mean that you cannot think about planning to have a wedding within the church.
If you are able to answer ‘yes’ to one of the above, or are unsure and need some more guidance, or you require some more information about the cost of a church wedding service, then please do get in touch and we will be happy to help. Alternatively you can call in at the Parish Office on a Friday or Saturday morning between 10am and noon. Someone there will be able to answer your initial queries and will give you a ‘Marriage Pack’ and some paperwork to fill in if that is appropriate.
It is also possible to have a Marriage Blessing after a civil ceremony or if you have been married abroad. This enables you to have a service of thanksgiving and blessing which can be either quite a small and intimate occasion for those you wish to invite to be a part of it, or it can enable you to celebrate your marriage with a wider group of family and friends than those who have been able to be at your actual marriage service. Again there are things which need to be discussed and planned in preparation for such a service, and there is a cost, but we would be happy to talk these things through with you if you feel you would like to know more.