Weddings: the law
Can we get married at Holy Trinity?
The law allows you to get married at Holy Trinity if you or your partner can satisfy one of the following conditions:
- You live in the parish;
- You have a 'qualifying connection' with the church or parish. Any one from the following list would count:
- you were baptised at Holy Trinity;
- you were confirmed from Holy Trinity;
- one of your parents or grandparents was married at Holy Trinity;
- at some time in the past you lived in the parish for at least 6 months;
- at some point in your lifetime one of your parents lived in the parish for 6 months;
- at some time in the past you regularly attended services at Holy Trinity for 6 months;
- at some point in your lifetime one of your parents regularly attended services at Holy Trinity for 6 months.
- You are on the electoral roll (a church membership list) of Holy Trinity. You can go onto the roll if you regularly attend services here for 6 months and are baptised.
You can check whether your home is in the parish by going to the A Church Near You website and entering your postcode.
If you are in any doubt about whether you qualify, please ask us. Remember that even if you don't live in the parish or have a 'qualifying connection', as long as you are prepared to come to services regularly (that means twice a month) for 6 months you can go on the electoral roll and qualify that way!
What are banns?
Most people who get married in church don't need a licence. Instead you 'have your banns called'.
An announcement is made in church on 3 different Sundays telling people you are going to be married. It can't happen until about 3 months before your wedding date. It has to be done in the parishes where each partner lives, & (if it's different) in the parish you're marrying in.
When the banns have been called, you collect a certificate from each of the other churches (it costs £41) & bring it to us. That certificate gives us the legal authority to go ahead with the wedding.
This is something you have to organise yourself, but we will explain how you go about it!
Occasionally, it's not possible for people to marry under the banns process. In those cases you will need a licence - but there are different types which mean applying to different offices. Don't worry - we will tell you what to do & help you through the process!
What if I'm divorced?
Usually, it's not a problem if one of you is divorced. At Holy Trinity we believe that God gives us all second chances, so we're happy to hold wedding services when one of the partners is divorced.
But everyone's situation is different. So before accepting a booking, the minister will talk to you to about why the divorce happened, to ensure you've thought about it, & that it's not a problem that will come up again.
What if I'm not British?
If one of you is a foreign national, you have to go through the licence application process to get permission to marry, & you may well need to register your marriage in the other country to have it properly recognised there. We will advise you on what you need to do. It's very important to follow the right legal process, but usually it's not a problem - it's just a bit more complicated!