You may have lots of pictures in your mind about what your wedding day will be like – what you will wear, who will be there, the weather (!), the speeches at the reception; but the most important part of the day is the marriage service because it is here that you will make a commitment to one another for the rest of your lives before God, your family and your friends.
It also marks the beginning of a journey together, a new way of life. The church is here to help you begin that journey and to travel with you along the way.
The minister taking your wedding will work with you to plan your wedding service, helping you put the service together and answering any questions you might have.
We also strongly recommend you attend a marriage preparation course and read a book on marriage. We run a course each year over 5 evenings.
What does God think about marriage?
God holds marriage in high regard. We believe that marriage is a gift from God - it was His idea and right at the beginning of the Bible, we read that ‘for this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife and they will become one flesh’ (Genesis 2:24)
Why get married in church?
Although the temptation is to regard marriage in church as ‘doing it properly’, you are specifically inviting God to bless your marriage and be part of your married life together. That is why it is about so much more than ‘getting a piece of paper’.
Are divorcees allowed to get married at Christ Church?
At present, the laws governing marriage do not allow remarriage in church where the former partner is still alive, unless there are exceptional circumstances. This is because the church has a responsibility to protect the understanding of marriage as a lifelong union.
There is a realisation however, that there are times when a marriage fails, and so we review each request in its own right. This will involve a longer initial meeting with the minister. Please contact the minister if you would like to know more.
We don’t come to church/live in the parish. Can we still get married at Christ Church?
In October 2008, the Marriage Measure became an Act of Parliament which meant that the following can be married at Christ Church…
• you were baptised in the church
• you have been confirmed and your conformation is entered in the church register
• your parents or grandparents were married in the church
• you have lived in the parish for at least 6 months
• one of your parents has lived in the parish for at least 6 months during your lifetime
• you have attended services in the church for at least 6 months
• one of your parents has attended services in the church for at least 6 months during your lifetime
If you are in any doubt, please contact the minister.
What are banns?
Banns are part of the legal requirement for marriage in the UK. If you both live in the parish, arrangements for reading your banns are automatically made when you return your banns form. Banns are valid for 3 months. If either of you lives in another parish, banns must be read in the other parish as well as here. You must contact the vicar of that parish to arrange this. Once banns have been read, you must collect a certificate and return it to the minister taking your wedding at least 2 weeks before your wedding. Your banns will be read at Christ Church on the first three Sundays of the month, usually 2 months’ prior before your wedding.
How much does it cost to be married at Christ Church?
we follow the set fees by the Church of England. There are a number of optional extras depending on your requirements, please enquire further.
A useful website
A good place to start is the official Church of England website https://www.yourchurchwedding.org/
Can I be married at Christ Church to someone of the same sex?
Although same sex-marriage legislation is now in force, it remains the case that it is not legally possible for same-sex couples to marry in the Church of England.
What if one (or both) people looking to get married are not from a country within the European Economic Area?
The law regarding marriages of nationals from outside the EEA changed in 2015. All such marriages which take place in England must have a Superintendent Registrar’s Certificate (SRC) to go ahead. To apply for an SRC, the bride and groom must have been resident for seven days within a registration district in England or Wales before applying. We can advise what needs to be completed.