Marriage - an introduction
A wedding is one of life's great moments, a time of solemn commitment as well as good wishes, feasting and joy. St John tells us how Jesus shared
in such an occasion at Cana, and gave there a sign of new beginnings as he turned water into wine.
Marriage is intended by God to be a creative relationship, as his blessing enables husband and wife to love and support each other in good times and in bad, and to share in the care and upbringing of children. For Christians, marriage is also an invitation to share life together in the spirit of Jesus Christ. It is based upon a solemn, public and life-long covenant between a man and a woman, declared and celebrated in the presence of God and before witnesses.
On their wedding day the bride and bridegroom face each other, make their promises and receive God's blessing, surrounded by their family and friends who are witnesses of the marriage, and express their support by their presence and their prayers.
"Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things." 1 Corinthians 13.4-7
You can marry in a Church of England church if you can show that one of you:
Planning your wedding (read carefully the following conditions)
- have at any time lived in the parish for a period of at least 6 months or
- were baptised (christened) in the parish concerned or
- were prepared for confirmation in the parish or
- have at any time regularly gone to normal church services in the parish church for a period of at least 6 months
That one of your parents, at any time after you were born:
- have lived in the parish for a period of at least 6 months
- have regularly gone to normal church services in the parish church for a period of at least 6 months
That one of your parents or grandparents:
- was married in the parish
And did you know that if you move house, you're immediately connected to the church there? That means you can marry in the church of your new parish.
In all cases involving church services - i.e. going to normal church services, baptism, confirmation or marriage - this applies only to Church of England services.
If you cannot demonstrate any of the above connections, you could create one, simply by attending your chosen church's usual services at least once a month for six consecutive months. If you decide to do this, leave enough time after your attendance for the banns to be read before your wedding too - about another two months should be enough.
Talk to the Vicar or churchwarden there well in advance to discuss the options open to you.
Marriage of those who have been divorced
In exceptional circumstances we are prepared to perform a marriage service for a couple when one or both of them are divorced, providing they are able to show a "present and demonstrable connection" with All Saints North Street
and providing that we receive assurance that:
- The new relationship did not begin before any previous marriage ended.
- Both parties understand divorce is a breach of God’s will for marriage.
- Both parties are determined to make the new marriage a lifelong, faithful partnership.
- There is a mature understanding of why a previous marriage failed and an expression of repentance about past wrongs. (Official papers relating to a divorce will be asked for)
- Appropriate arrangements have been made for any children of a previous marriage.
- Where possible, every effort has been made to establish a good relationship with a previous marriage partner.
- A sufficient amount of time has passed since the breakdown of a previous marriage.
- The couple are keen to establish their marriage on the foundations of Christian teaching and in the context of regular worship together.
The church is normally open during the day. Drop by and check it out (view location).