We love having weddings in both our beautiful churches, and are thrilled that couples continue to pick our churches to celebrate the greatest day of their lives.
Under the 2008 Marriage Measure, it is now possible for anyone to be married in our churches provided they can satisfy certain requirements (see 'Legalities', below). So, the first thing to do when you get engaged and are looking around for a church, is to phone the Rev'd Manette Crossman (01284 787554) for Holy Innocents or Pat Sadler: 01359 230865 for St Peter's to express an interest and to book a possible date. We will then arrange a first meeting with you to discuss practicalities. We will give you a copy of the marriage service and tell you about possible readings, music and hymns etc. We will then book a second meeting to talk about the service and write a draft order of service.
Above all, we want you to have a very special day, and will do our best to ensure that that happens if you choose to be married in either of our Churches.
If you have a 'qualifying connection' with either of our villages, you have the right to be married in Holy Innocents Gt Barton or St Peter's Thurston, whether or not you currently live in one of our villages. These connections are:
Alternatively, if you live near enough to our villages, you may choose to attend our churches on a regular basis (once a month or more) for six months before your proposed wedding day, and that enables us to call your banns here without any other administration being necessary. This is probably the simplest way to ensure that you can be married in one of our churches if you don't have any of the 'qualifying connections' listed above.
If your marriage is taking place too soon for banns to be read, or if one of you is a foreign national, then a Common Licence application may be appropriate for you. It is granted in the name of the Bishop, and he has discretion whether or not to grant it. In order to obtain such a Licence, one of you must have had his or her usual residence within the parish or district of the church in which the marriage is to due to take place for fifteen days immediately preceding the application. Common Licences can only be granted for marriages to take place within the Diocese, and are only valid for three months. The fee for a Common Licence will be around £170. If this is relevant to your particular situation, speak to the Rector about it, and she will tell you how to set about obtaining a Licence.
We are also happy to have wedding blessings in our churches if your wedding took place in a registry office or abroad. Again, please telephone the Rector for further information.
If one of you lives in another parish outside the Benefice, a Certificate of Banns is required from that church before the wedding can go ahead, to prove that there were no objections when called. It is your responsibility to see that this is done and presented to the Priest taking your wedding service before the wedding day. If you are unsure of your parish look at www.yourchurchwedding.org.
Two or three hymns need to be chosen in good time before the wedding day, in consultation with the Vicar and/or the Organist (especially before sending the Oder of Service to the printers. For more advice see www.yourchurchwedding.org. Our Organist can help you with music and hymn choices: Joy Bolwell - tel: 01359-231301, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Video licences can be obtained from www.videolicence.co.uk or tel: 01323-436111. Their website is undergoing maintenance at present.
More information and help in planning your Wedding is available on the Church of England website: www.yourchurchwedding.org.
If you have any further questions or worries, no matter how trivial they may seem, please do get in touch and don't worry about them!
Please contact Rev'd Manette Crossman, The Vicarage, Church Road, Great Barton, IP31 2QR, tel: 01284-787554, email: email@example.com.