Qualifying for Marriage in Church
This is usually by way of one (or both) of the couple living within the parish of the church at which the couple wishes to get married. However as all our Benefices have a Bishop’s (Marriage) Order in place, this residency is extended to all the parishes of that Benefice.
Therefore if one (or both) of the couple live in a parish of the Benefice of the church at which the couple wishes to marry, they qualify as of right, provided neither party has been married before.
If you have been married before we will ask you about it but we do look very sympathetically on the matter- after all we do believe in marriage rather than living together!!.
Please note that if only one of the couple to be married lives within the Benefice, Banns are required from the church of the residency of the other.
2. Common Licence.
One (or both) have lived in the Benefice for 15 days prior to applying for a Common licence with the Diocesan Registrar. This is also the route you should take if marrying a foreign national
3. Superintendent Registrar’s Certificate.
One (or both) of the couple stay overnight within the actual parish (not Benefice) of the church where they wish to marry for seven clear nights. On the ninth day they can go – with evidence of their stay (e.g. a hotel bill) to the Superintendent Registrar in Leicester City Registry and with a letter from the priest saying he is willing to perform the marriage ceremony in the church, and so establish residency.
4. Coming to church regularly for six months
You can qualify by at least one of the couple attending church regularly and going on the Electoral Roll for six months before the Banns application are submitted to the priest. Regular means about 10 times or more in a six month period prior to Banns being applied for.
5. Qualifying connection
With the new Marriage Regulations that come into force on 1st October 2008, the rules have been relaxed for qualification and now additional qualifying grounds have been added. You may be married in a church if you have a qualifying connection.
A “qualifying connection” is now one of the following:
(1) The person who is seeking to marry in the parish
· was baptised in the parish (or a church in the Benefice) ;
· has his or her confirmation recorded in a register belonging to the parish (or a church in the Benefice) (i.e. in effect, he or she was prepared for confirmation in the parish or a church in the Benefice);
· has at any time had his or her usual place of residence in the parish (or a parish in the Benefice) for at least 6 months; or
· has at any time habitually attended public worship in the parish (or a parish in the Benefice) for at least 6 months.
(2) That person’s parent has at any time during the person’s lifetime:
· had his or her usual place of residence in the parish (or a parish in the Benefice for at least 6 months;
· habitually attended public worship in the parish (or a parish in the Benefice for at least 6 months;
(3) That person’s parent or grandparent was married in the parish.
“parent” in (2) and (3) includes an adoptive parent or a person who has undertaken the care and upbringing of the person concerned, and “grandparent” in (3) has a corresponding meaning. “married” in (3) refers to marriage according to the rites of the Church of England.
If you would like a wedding in Church but are not sure if you comply with the rules, please give Revd Martin Dale a call at 01664-434 878 or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. After all, celebrating a marriage is one of the highlights of the Church’s ministry within a rural community.
Revd Martin Dale
2 Carrfields Lane
Leics LE14 2NT