Steps to help you plan your Marriage

Marriage after banns

Your first step in getting married in church is to ask our parish administrator for a form for application to have your ‘banns’ read.

You will be asked to fill in important details about your age, nationality, your address and marital status and you will sign the form before returning it to the minister of the parish. This will establish your qualifications for a wedding in church. The minister of the parish is under legal duty to be satisfied that you can lawfully marry in the parish church before a date and time can be set. You may also be asked to establish your ‘qualifying connection’.

Before you may be married in a Church of England service your banns will be published on 3 consecutive Sundays prior to your wedding day. Your full name and your intention to wed will be read to the congregation.


new laws

The laws regarding marriage in church have changed again in 2015 and more couples are now having a church service called Prayer and Dedication after a Civil Marriage. If you cannot be married after banns because one or both of you does not have an address in England or Wales, or you are a foreign national, the church offers this special service in which you come to church after registering your marriage with a civil registrar.

You may also choose, in discussion with your minister, this service if under Bishops’ guidelines the priest cannot be your registrar due to one of you having been married, with a previous partner still living.


qualifying connections

If you choose to be married in a parish other than where you live you will need to prove a qualifying connection and sign a form about the church of your choice.

If your connection is attendance at regular worship this must be for at least 6 months before we read your banns.

We encourage all couples preparing for marriage in our parish to come to regular worship as often as possible and get to know the church community who will host your wedding.


web site

Go to for help with your planning and for guidance with the legal requirements.


your parish

Your parish is the one in which you live – if you are not sure which that is look at Put in your address  and then contact the minister of the church in your area for confirmation that you are in the parish.


the electoral roll

After 6 months regular attendance in a Church of England parish you are entitled to enter your names for inclusion on the electoral roll – the list of members who can vote for the Church Council.  


reading the banns

You will be contacted to be told the dates when your banns will be read. This is in worship on 3 consecutive Sundays within the 3 months before your wedding.

We will read your banns in the main service in the parish which is Sunday at Ten (10am) in St James the Less each week.

Please make sure the banns are read in each parish where you live as well as where you will be getting married. NB We cannot marry you without receiving the banns certificate signed by the minister in the parish where you live.  It is very important that you give your full name for inclusion on each application for banns form.


meeting the officiating minster

We will introduce you to the minister marrying you at marriage preparation and you will then arrange to meet to talk about your service and any other concerns you have. If you have an ordained family member or friend that you would like to preach or pray at your service please let the rector know, as soon as you can. NB It is not possible for a clergy person from another denomination to officiate for your vows, or give the marriage blessing. 


planning your service

Once you have the place, date and time of your wedding settled you meet with your minister to make your service very personal to you with readings, music, hymns and perhaps poetry or instrumentalists.


your witnesses

You will be asked to have 2 witnesses to watch you marry and sign the marriage registers, and to sign them themselves. Please make sure the minister knows their names in case he or she cannot read their signatures!


the rehearsal

Most wedding couples like to have a rehearsal in the church before the wedding day. It helps all those with special roles to feel comfortable in church during the ceremony eg the best man and the bridesmaids. Arrange this with your minister.


inviting your guests

You and your wedding guests are all guests of the church community and we want to do everything we can to make your day very special. Please let us know of any special requirements so that we can discuss them before your day. There will be an opportunity for you and your guests to contribute to the up keep of your wedding church through voluntary donations. Our churches are run by volunteers and wholly maintained by gifts and regular donations. Our registered charity number is 1127943. Gift aided donations made in the envelopes provided are very welcome.


the future

We very much hope you will stay in contact with us in the future and if you live in the parish we look forward to seeing you at services and events.

Let us know if you would like to receive details of activities and worship. You will be on our database for information and we look forward to keeping in touch with you if you would like this.

One of the delights we have in church is to baptise people into the Christian faith.  If you would like to find out more about this for yourself or a member of your family please contact the Rector, Reverend Heather Parbury



Webpage icon Congratulations