Weddings and Banns

To be married in a parish church like St Nicholas, a person has to be eligible to be married in that particular church. If you’re thinking of getting married at St Nicholas, please contact CJ, the Rector, in the first instance, as he will be able to tell you whether it’s possible for that to happen.

The reading of Banns 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; parishioners can normally be married in their parish church (with some exceptions).

The Church of England is the church established by the law of England and the Vicar or Rector of C of E churches can act as a ‘Registrar’ and perform wedding ceremonies. 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.

What to do:
1. Check whether or not you live in the parish (click here for map)
2. If you live on one of the boundary roads or if you’re in any doubt, please contact Abi Phillips (click here)
3. Contact the parish office for a banns form (click here to contact us)
4. Fill in the form and return together with cheque for the required fees (which are set by Church of England)
5. You will receive a letter confirming when your banns will be read
6. Come to church on one or all three of the occasions your banns are read
7. Your banns certificate will be sent to you after the third time of asking
8. Give the certificate to the officiating clergy person before your wedding