Reading of the Banns
The Church of England is the church established by the law of England. Under English law all England is divided into parishes, each of which normally has a parish church and is under the care of a Vicar or Rector.
One of the reasons people often want to know which parish they live in is that they are planning to get married and have been told that they need to ask their local Vicar to read their Banns before getting married. This is a simple process in which the names of those who intend to be married are read out in church on three Sundays in the three months before they are married.
It dates from a time when everyone knew everyone in the local community and it was a way of checking that there was no legal impediment to couples marrying. Even though times have changed it is still the most common legal preparation for a church marriage. If you live in the parish of St Nicholas and are planning to get married after Banns in this or another parish church you need to have your Banns read at St Nicholas.
What to do:
1. Check whether or not you live in the parish (click here for map)
2. Contact the parish office for a banns form (click here to contact us)
3. Fill in the form and return together with cheque for the required fees (which are set by Church of England)
4. You will receive a letter confirming when your banns will be read
5. Come to church on one or all three of the occasions your banns are read
6. Collect your banns certificate after the third time of asking
7. Give the certificate to the officiating clergy person before your wedding Parishioners can normally be married in their parish church (with some exceptions).