The Meaning of Marriage
Christians bless permanent faithful and stable relationships through weddings because we believe that marriage offers a strong basis for family life and echoes God’s purposes for humanity.
Throughout the bible, we read about God’s life-changing encounter with many different people. The intensity and transformation seen in these spititual friendships are a bit like the commitment made by married couples to one another. Likewise, marriages are grounded in love, a central characteristic of God. Christians term God’s loving relationship with his people a covenant. Covenants are agreements grounded in unconditional promises, just as husbands and wives do not set limits on their love as they promise ‘for better or for worse’.
Weddings in this Parish
Christian marriage is a religious and family celebration. It is also a public bond governed by the laws of the land.
Everyone has the right to be married in the parish where they live or regularly attend worship. It is also possible for couples to marry in a parish with which they have a qualifying connection. Qualifying connections include a history of past worship or residency, or significant ties through parents and grandparents.
There are two churches in this parish, St Mary’s and St Laurence’s. St Mary’s in particular attracts wedding couples offering an ancient setting, a peal of bells and a convenient well-equipped hall nearby. St Laurence’s has a more intimate ambiance which might be more appropriate for smaller numbers of guests. Again there is a convenient adjacent hall available for hire for a small reception. As you consider your options we can explore both these venues with you.
What about Remarriage after Divorce?
Christians believe that marriage is for life. We also recognise that some marriages end in divorce and that individuals may want to commit afresh with a new partner. This is why the Church of England permits remarriage in church under certain circumstances. If this is your position then the Vicar will need to have an open conversation about the circumstances of the previous breakdown in order to discern whether it is best to hold a wedding or a service of thanksgiving after a civil ceremony.
What to Do Now
To pursue your questions further or to request application paperwork, please contact the Parish Office.
Your Church Wedding is a Church of England website stocked with resources for wedding couples. Here you can get practical guidance on planning your service, advice on frequently asked questions and a breakdown of legal fees.
Marriage is a significant personal event, a moment when many ask big questions about their life and purpose. As a parish we try to accompany people wherever they are on their spiritual journey. Please see our welcome leaflet and other literature for more information about the ways in which we can help.