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Religious Ceremonies

Marriage in the Church of England or Church in Wales

If you are a British/EEA/Swiss National you should be able to complete your legal preliminaries through the church using the usual banns process or Archbishop’s Licence process, details of which can be obtained from your parish vicar. 

Please note that at present same sex couples cannot legally marry in an Anglican Church.   

If your vicar requests that you give notice to your registrar you should be aware that a registrar can only take notice of marriage from a British/EEA/Swiss National under the following circumstances:

  • One or both of you are resident in the parish where you want to be married for a period of eight nights immediately before giving notice;
    or
  • If one or both do not live in the parish or have not been resident in the parish for at least eight nights prior to giving notice, one or both are on the electoral roll of the church and this is their usual place of worship;

As evidence of the above you will need to have:

  • A letter from the vicar stating that either one or both parties are parishioners or that one or both parties are on the electoral roll of the church. If you are giving notice more than three months from the date of marriage, the letter should state that the vicar is willing to accept a Superintendent Registrar’s Certificate valid for 12 months.

All the rules for giving notice and prescribed evidence requirements are as stated previously. You will need to make an appointment to bring along all the documents required to confirm evidence of your identity, marital status and proof of address.  There is a statutory fee for this service.

If you are a Foreign National and subject to immigration control, you will not be able to use the usual church process for Banns or Licence. This is because the Immigration Act 2014 excludes you from ecclesiastical preliminaries. 
As a result, you will be required to give notice of marriage to a registrar in a Designated Register Office.  Please contact one of the designated offices which can be found on the gov.uk website for further information.

Getting married in a church or chapel of a religion other than the Church of England or Church in Wales

If you are a same sex couple, you can only marry in a church or chapel, which has been registered for that purpose.

Details of churches in your area that are registered for same sex marriages can be obtained from your local registration service.

It is necessary for all couples wishing to marry in a church or chapel other than Church of England or Church in Wales to give notice of marriage to their local registrar. If one or both parties to the marriage are subject to immigration control then notices must be given at a designated office.  Please contact one of the designated offices which can be found on the gov.uk website for further information.

All the rules for giving notice and prescribed evidence requirements are as stated previously. You will need to make an appointment to bring along all the documents required to confirm evidence of your identity, marital status and proof of address.  There is a statutory fee for this service.

In order to marry in a church or chapel other than the Church of England in Worcestershire, the church or chapel must be registered for marriages and the following requirements must be satisfied:

  • One or both of you must live in Worcestershire for a period of at least eight nights immediately before notice is given;
    or
  • If neither of you live in Worcestershire nor have been resident for a period of at least eight nights in Worcestershire prior to giving notice, the church or chapel in which you wish to marry must be your usual place of worship;
    or
  • If neither of you live in Worcestershire, and there is no church or chapel of your denomination in your own local area, then the church or chapel in Worcestershire should be the nearest one to you geographically of the denomination under which you worship.

Please check with your church or chapel to find out if the church or chapel holds its own marriage register, and has an appointed person at the church or chapel who can register the marriage. 

Please note that if this is not the case, the attendance of a registrar will be required to register the marriage. The time and date must be mutually acceptable and pre booked with Worcestershire Registration Service, you can do this by contacting us on 01905 768181. There are additional statutory charges to pay if the attendance of a registrar is needed; this fee should be paid at least three calendar months prior or the date of the ceremony.