Church and chapel ceremonies
Marriage in the Church of England or Church in Wales
If you're a British/EEA/Swiss national you should be able to complete your legal preliminaries through the church using the usual banns process or 'Archbishop's Licence' process, details of which can be obtained from your parish vicar.
Please note that at present same sex couples can't legally marry in an Anglican Church.
If your vicar requests that you give notice to your registrar you should be aware that a registrar can only take notice of marriage from a British/EEA/Swiss national under the following circumstances:
- That one or both of you are resident in the parish where you want to be married for a period of seven complete days immediately before the giving of the notice
- That although one or both may not live in the parish one or both are on the electoral roll of the church and this is their usual place of worship
As evidence of the above you'll need to have:
- A letter from the vicar stating that either one or both parties are parishioners or that one or both parties are on the electoral roll of the church (see example letter)
If you're giving notice more than three months from the date of marriage the letter should state that the vicar is willing to accept a superintendent registrar's certificate valid for 12 months.
If you're subject to immigration control you won't be able to use the usual church process for banns or licence. This is because you're excluded from ecclesiastical preliminaries by the Immigration Act 2014. As such you'll be required to give notice of marriage to a registrar in a designated register office.
Where the only obstruction to you marrying by ecclesiastical preliminaries is the nationality of one or both of you, notice can be given subject to the following:
- The consent of the incumbent has been obtained for the marriage to take place at the church/chapel, and
- Confirmation is received by the registrar from the incumbent that the marriage could have taken place by banns or common licence if the couple weren't excluded by the Immigration Act 2014.
If the written consent hasn't been obtained when notice is given, and provided to the registrar at the time of notice, you should understand that before any marriage can take place you'll need to provide written confirmation to the registrar. If you choose to give your notices without this confirmation, it's entirely at your own risk and cost, should you be required to give notice again. You'll need to bring along all of the documents referred to in the prescribed evidence section in addition to the confirmation from the vicar.
Getting married in a church or chapel of a religion other than the Church of England or Church in Wales
It's necessary for all couples wishing to marry in a church or chapel other than Church of England or Church in Wales to give notices of marriage to their local registrar. If you're a same sex couple, you can only marry in a church or chapel which has been registered for that purpose. Details of churches in your area registered for same sex marriages can be obtained from your local registration service. All of the rules for giving notice and prescribed evidence requirements are as stated previously.
In order to marry in a church or chapel other than the Church of England or Church in Wales in the Shropshire Council area, one or both of you must satisfy the following requirements:
- One or both of you must live in the Shropshire Council area for a period of at least seven complete days immediately before notice is given
- If neither of you live in the Shropshire Council area, the church in which you wish to marry must be your usual place of worship
- If neither of you live in the Shropshire Council area, there should not be a church of the same denomination in your own local area, and the church in Shropshire should be the nearest one to you geographically of the denomination under which you worship
- The church or chapel must be registered for marriages
- If the attendance of a registrar is needed to register the marriage please be aware that there are additional statutory charges to pay, and the time and date must be mutually acceptable.