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We wish you every blessing as you prepare for your wedding, one of life’s great moments, a time of solemn commitment as well as good wishes, feasting and joy. You will have some practical questions to which you will need answers and it is hoped that you will find the details below helpful.

You can also click on the link on the right for more information about weddings in the Church of England.


Who can marry in St Thomas à Becket Church?

Under the law, there are broadly three ways you can marry in St Thomas à Becket:

1. By one or both of you having a ‘qualifying connection’ with this parish

2. By one or both of you being on the Church Electoral Roll

3. By Archbishop’s license (if you have a clear connection with the church in Box)

A person has a qualifying connection with a parish if

· That person

· was baptised in the parish (this does not apply where the baptism formed part of a combined service of baptism or confirmation); or

· had their confirmation entered in a church register book of a church or chapel in the parish; or

· has at any time had his or her usual place of residence in the parish for at least 6 months; or

· has at any time habitually attended public worship in the parish for at least 6 months; or

· a parent of that person has at any time during that person’s lifetime:

· had their usual place of residence in the parish for at least 6 months; or

· habitually attended public worship in the parish for at least 6 months; or

· a parent or grandparent of that person was married in the parish.


The references to baptism, confirmation and marriage, and to attending public worship, are all confined to services according to the rites of the Church of England.

To join the Church Electoral Roll, you must become a regular worshipper at this church. You can do this by joining our Church Family on a regular basis (at least once a month) for six months. You will also need to have been baptised.

What about Banns?

Before you can be married, certain legal formalities need to take place to make sure you are both free to marry. Usually this is done by reading of Banns of Marriage in the parish churches where each of you live. There is a fee payable for each of the Banns reading.

If at least one of you lives in Box then your Banns will be read in St Thomas à Becket for three Sundays. Most couples like to be present to hear their Banns read and we look forward to welcoming you to the services when your banns will be read. We also hope that you will enjoy coming to church on a regular basis in the months leading up to your wedding. To discover more of God's love for you and his purpose for your lives will be a strong foundation for your marriage.

If one of you lives in another Parish, your Banns of Marriage will also have to be read in that parish church. It is your responsibility to contact the Rector / Vicar there and make the arrangements for your Banns to be read. He or she will arrange to have the Banns read and then issue you with a Banns Certificate for which a fee is payable to that parish. You must give this certificate to the priest officiating at your wedding as soon as you are issued with it because your marriage cannot legally go ahead unless he or she has seen it. We suggest you contact your local church around four months before your wedding.

How much will it cost?

A wedding in the church in Box will cost around £500. This cost is a combination of fees set by the Church Commissioners of the Church of England as well as fees set by the local church to cover costs, a contribution to maintenance etc. Cheques should be made payable to the ‘PCC of Box Parish’ and must be paid in full before the date of your marriage. The Vicar will explain this in more detail to you. If either of you do not live in the parish, you will also have to pay a fee to have your Banns read at your local church(es).

One of us is divorced - does this matter?

We believe that marriage is for life but recognise that, sadly, some marriages do fail. In certain circumstances a divorced person may marry again in Church. Please talk to the Vicar who will be able to discuss this further with you.

What do we need to think about for the service?

You may find it useful to start exploring the meaning of Christian marriage from the service book before choosing music and readings. The Vicar will also explore this with you as well as discussing with you what music, bible readings and prayers you would like. You can find our more information about the service itself from the link to the Church of England wedding page on the right.

It is usual to have two or three hymns - try to choose ones your friends and family will know!

You will need to contact the organist sooner rather than later to book the date. Ask the Vicar for contact details. If you want to provide your own music or musicians of any kind, you should discuss this with the Vicar.

You do not have to have an Order of Service but most people do and you should prepare this yourself and let the Vicar see a copy before you get it printed.

If you want to have flowers at the service, this isn’t a problem. You should contact Brenda Parry on 01225 742800 to make arrangements.

It is normally possible to arrange for the church bells to be rung - you should discuss this with the Vicar.

Practicalities

Rehearsal

A rehearsal is held in church shortly before the day. Try to have the Best Man, Bridesmaids and anyone ‘giving away’ the Bride present for the rehearsal. Please contact the Vicar to arrange your rehearsal.

Photography and Video

You are welcome to ask your nominated photographer to take photos during the service providing they are sensitive to the nature of prayer and worship and do not use flash photography except during the signing of the register and after the service has concluded. The photographer must contact the Vicar before the day to confirm details.

If you would like the service to be videoed, you should discuss this with the Vicar in advance of your wedding day and the person taking the video must contact the Vicar before the day to confirm details. There may be additional fees payable for this.

Timings

We allow about an hour for the service which includes time for the taking of photographs outside afterwards or inside the church if it is raining. Please do not be late as we will not allow a late service to interfere with another booking of the church and the Vicar may have other appointments. If you arrive very late then the Vicar may decide not to proceed or shorten the service accordingly.

Confetti

Biodegradable confetti may be used in the churchyard.

Car Parking

There is virtually no parking at the church - you should direct your guests to park in the Selwyn Hall car park, a short walk away.

Passports

Brides may have their passport in their new name prior to the wedding. This is also advisable if travelling to some countries! Collect a form PD2 from the post office and bring it to the Vicar to sign.

Finally - it’s your day and we want it to be a day for you to remember so if you have any questions, just ask!