Marriage is the union of one man and one woman for life to the exclusion of all others, traditionally contracted between them in church. It is a gift of God in making us human. For that reason the Church does not insist that those who marry in church are churchgoers, or that they are baptised (or even that they are Christians), so long as they are prepared to be married according to the form of service that the church uses. If you are divorced, life is more complicated but it is now often possible to be married in church. Whatever your status, please speak to Fr Clive Wylie in the first instance.
You may be married here at St. Mary’s:
- if you live in the parish;
- if you have been baptised or confirmed in the parish;
- if you have lived in the parish for six months or more, at any time during your lives;
- if you have having worshipped in the parish for at least six months;
- if your parents lived or worshipped in the parish (during the child's lifetime);
- if your parents or grandparents were married in the church.
If you feel that although none of these conditions apply to you still want to be married in St Mary’s, it may be possible to be married here by Special Licence, which is granted by the Archbishop of Canterbury. To apply or find out more contact The Faculty Office, 1 The Sanctuary, Westminster, London SW1P 3JT tel: 020 7222 5381
When you see Fr Clive he will explain to you the preliminaries. Normally there is some form of preparation, both practical and spiritual. Clergy are not experts on mortgages, family planning, surveying or painting and decorating but there is more to a marriage than these important issues. Because Christian marriage is intended to be for life our approach to our spouse is of a particular character.
Practically, arrangements have to be made for the time and date of the wedding, who is to take part, what music will be played and by whom. Good liaison between the church and florists, photographers, vidoegraphers, chauffeurs, etc. makes the day go more smoothly. All of this the vicar will help you with as well as offering suggestions for hymns and readings and much else.
The total cost of a wedding can be considerable; the charges made by the church are a small part of this. Statutory fees (fixed by Parliament) amount to around £400. In addition to this will be the organist’s charges, a heating charge when needed, and any copyright fees for music. The church has no bells or choir.
Weddings are delightful as well as meaningful occasions. We look forward to hearing from you.