Congratulations on your forthcoming marriage! We are delighted that you are thinking of having your wedding at St. Albright’s. We know that this unique day marks a tremendous step in your ongoing love and it is good that you want to celebrate your commitment to each other in church. Preparing for your wedding is exciting but can be stressful, so we will do all we can to help you through your preparation so that your wedding day is a very happy one and that your marriage begins on the firmest foundations.
We hope that the following information will be of help and we look forward to being part of your wedding celebration.
Why get married in church?
Wherever you choose to get married, you make a public declaration of life-long commitment to love each other faithfully and you take on a new legal status as husband and wife. Family and friends come along to witness this and celebrate with you. If you choose to get married in church, there is the added dimension of showing that you desire and welcome God’s involvement too.
Including God in your marriage – bringing your marriage into church as it were – does not mean that you will avoid all the usual ups and downs, but you will know that you can look to God for help and guidance and that God’s love is there to sustain you. You will also have the love and support of the Christian Church family, both here at St. Albright’s and wherever you may go throughout your married life.
What do Christians believe about marriage?
The marriage service calls it a “Gift from God” and the bible compares married love with the love Jesus has for his followers. In other words, it is unconditional love with no holds barred. Marriage is intended by God to be creative – a secure place for husband and wife to grow in intimacy, to love and support each other and to enjoy the delight and tenderness of sexual union. It provides a stable and secure foundation for raising children. So Christians see marriage as the nearest in human relationships to the love of God for everyone, which is why it is called a sacrament – a visible sign of God’s love for us. And that is why many people choose to read the words from the bible about God’s love at their wedding – see the first letter to the Corinthians chapter 13.
I’m not baptized. I don’t go to church. We’ve been living together for a while already. Can we still get married in church?
The simple answer is yes! The Priest in Charge will want to get to know you a bit and there is a marriage preparation day that you will be asked to come along to, but that is all. There are certain legal formalities to follow which are outlined below.
Can I get married at St. Albright’s?
If you live in the parish of Stanway or if St. Albright’s has a special significance for you then you may marry here. Examples of special significance may be that this is the parish where you grew up, or where one of your parents lives or worships. The Church of England website has more information about this: www.cofe.anglican.org/lifevents/weddings
What are the legal requirements?
The normal way is to have your banns read out at a service in church on three Sundays during the three months before your wedding. This is simply an announcement that the wedding is to take place. You would be most welcome to come to the service to hear them read, which at St. Albright’s is at 10.30. If you do not live in Stanway the banns must be read in the parish where each of you lives as well as at St. Albright’s.
There are occasionally circumstances where some form of licence, such as a common licence or special licence is more appropriate and particular rules apply to them. When you meet the Priest in Charge that will be discussed.
What if one of us is divorced?
The Church of England teaches that marriage is for life. It also recognises that sadly some marriages fail. If this happens the church remains open to all those involved. In some circumstances a divorced person may marry again in church during the lifetime of a former spouse, and this is possible at St. Albright’s. When you come to discuss your wedding plans with the Priest in Charge there will be a frank and open discussion about the past, about your hopes for the future and your current understanding of marriage. For more information about this you can download “Marriage in Church after Divorce” from www.cofe.anglican.org/papers/mcad.pdf.
How much will it cost?
The legal fees for a marriage cover the reading of banns, a certificate of banns (if required), the marriage service and a marriage certificate. These are fixed nationally and revised annually on 1st January. Currently they are £470.
There are other costs which are not compulsory and these include such things as a fee for the organist, car parking or flower arrangements if that is done “in house” by our flower arranging team.
How do I get married at St. Albright’s?
You should contact the Priest in Charge well in advance to arrange a date and to discuss the preliminaries (weddings can take place on any day of the week). After that we will arrange a date nearer to the wedding to meet up and talk through the arrangements in more detail. Each year we run a Marriage Preparation Day, usually in February, for all those who are to be married at St. Albright’s in the forthcoming year, and we very much hope that you come along to that. If you have any queries then please contact the Priest in Charge . Tel: 01787 222487 - Mob: 07484 265258 - email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are getting married by banns in another Church of England church but live in the parish of Stanway then your banns will have to be read at St. Albright’s. Please contact the Priest in Charge to arrange this.
Banns Application (for those living in the parish but getting married elsewhere)