Thank you for visiting our website in connection with your proposed marriage. We look forward to helping you with your wedding day arrangements. Weddings are joyous occasions and we in the Church will do everything we can to make your day really special because we believe that marriage is something to be celebrated.
The following step-by-step guide will help you plan ahead.
Due to the fact that marriage involves the law we will need to check out a number of details which are done in a face to face interview with one of the clergy. When this is done the clergy are acting as registrars and always seek to make sure things go smoothly, as marriage law can be a bit complicated in some circumstances.
Where can you marry?
Residency is the main qualification to be married in a Church of England Church. If you live in a parish you have a right to be married in its parish church whether you go there or not. Under recent legislation you can gain a “Qualifying Connection” to be married in a different church and there a number of ways in which you can do that. This is set out in detail at https://www.yourchurchwedding.org/
The Church of St John the Evangelist, here in Carterton, lends itself to flexible ceremonies because it is a modern building. We can even broadcast your service via the internet to relations anywhere in the world. Many however wish to be married in an ancient church and because St John’s is modern and not legally a “parish church” you can be married in the parish church of an adjoining parish, for example our sister church St Britius, Brize Norton.
Same Sex Couples (a personal note from the Rector)
I am a strong advocate for the full and unconditional acceptance of LGBT people and marriage equality. Sadly, the Church of England does not yet allow its Ministers to conduct same-sex weddings, however I am permitted to offer prayers in support of same-sex couples. As well as offering this service, I will continue to campaign for a change in the Church laws until full equality is achieved.
Application for Special or Common Licence
If you are a foreign national or hope to be married in a church where you have no connections, you may need to apply for one or other of these licences. If this is the case, contact me directly and I will give you the necessary information to help you.
The service, what you need to decide
You will need to choose music to come in and leave by, also the hymns, usually couples have two hymns but you could have more if you wish. There will be two readings, you should choose one from the Bible and one other, this can be a poem or an excerpt from a favourite piece of literature. The yourchurchwedding website is a great resource for ideas. You can ask friends or family to give the readings, and you may also wish to ask someone to sing or play a musical instrument while you sign the register. You will also need to ask two people to be witnesses to your marriage and they will also sign the register.
The next clergy consultation(s)
About four months before the wedding, make another appointment to meet me. You will need to bring a draft copy of your service sheet with you if you are going to have one. If you are not having a service sheet, please bring a list of the readings and music you would like.
Reading of the Banns
Before a marriage can take place your names need to be read in church so that if anyone knows a reason why you cannot marry they can say so. This is known as “reading your banns” and it is the simplest and cheapest way of giving notice that you wish to be married in church. Banns have to be called not more than three months before the wedding is due to take place. You must call us to book this particularly if you are getting married elsewhere and either of you live in Carterton. If either of you live in a different parish, you will need to see the minister of that parish to arrange your Banns to be read there. This is vital! You must show the certificate that you will receive from that church to me, without it, I cannot marry you! The Banns will be read in the church where you will marry for three Sundays shortly before your wedding date; please try to attend at least one service to hear them. I will contact you to let you know the exact dates beforehand.
Final service sheet
Please let me have two copies of the agreed final service sheet at least two weeks before your wedding.
A non refundable deposit of £100 is required to secure your booking which should only be made once we have agreed to the marriage taking place. Please pay the fees in full at least two weeks before your wedding. All marriages have historically been events which have to be paid for and payments include set legal fees and extras, some of which are optional. Remember church fees are the least of your many costs!
We will arrange a wedding rehearsal for you so that you know exactly what to expect. It will usually be the day before your wedding and you will need to bring your service sheet, both sets of parents if possible, the best man, the bridesmaids, ushers and anyone else who is taking part in the service e.g. readings/singing etc.
Photographs or videos
I am happy for guests to take photographs but please, no flash photography. If people are using their mobiles to take photos, please ensure that they are on mute. If a professional video recording is going to be made, there is no charge made by the church but because of performing rights the fees for the organist are doubled.