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Welcome!

We are delighted that you have decided to be married and that you would like to have your marriage blessed in church.  We, in the parish of Nuthurst and Mannings Heath, can offer you the assurance of our prayers, the wisdom derived from the experience of accompanying other couples as they prepare for their marriage, and the support and guidance of a committed and welcoming Christian community.

To enable us to help you better, we have put together a series of questions and headings for you to think about, and discuss with our parish priest before you finalise the wedding date.  This point is vital as it is sensible in order to ensure that our beautiful parish church, St. Andrew’s, and our clergy are available; that you have a clearer sense of the great and small tasks needing to be done in preparation for your wedding day; as well as to prepare yourselves emotionally, spiritually and mentally for the adventure with God that will be your married life.

The following questions and headings are meant to assist you in thinking through the legal and practical aspects of your marriage as well as the “shape” of your wedding.  That way we can better work with you to bring together the riches of the Christian message, the stability tradition offers and the uniqueness of what makes your relationship special.

Legal Aspects

According to English law, Church of England clergy function as Registrars when they officiate at a Marriage.

For this reason there are a series of legal steps that you must fulfil before you may be married in church.  These are:

1)    Establishing a “Qualifying Connection” (QC)– this is particularly important if you are not resident in the Parish of Nuthurst and Mannings Heath.  If you are not sure about what a “qualifying connection” is, the following link will help you: http://www.yourchurchwedding.org/youre-welcome/more-churches-to-choose-from.aspx

You will need to fill in a QC form, which you may obtain from our Parish Priest on request.

2)    Banns:  This is an ancient legal tradition that has become a joyful way of anticipating the celebration of your special day.  Banns must be read in the context of the main act of public worship in the parish church where you actually are living as well as at the church in which you hope to be married. To find out more about Banns, the following link may be helpful:

http://www.yourchurchwedding.org/youre-welcome/reading-of-banns.aspx

Please note:  If there is not enough notice given for the banns to be read before the marriage is due to take place, or in the case of the marriage of people whose nationality is not British, or if one or both of you do not live in England, it is recommended that the Licence procedure be used rather than banns. This is especially recommended if there is any doubt as to the legal requirements of the home country of a non-British person for recognition of an English Church marriage.

3)    Minimum age: English law states that you must be 16 or older to be married and that if you are under the age of 18 you will need your parents’ written consent to do so.

4)    Time of your wedding: To be legal a marriage service must take place between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. on any day.

5)    Guidelines for Divorcees: If one or both of you have been married before, it is helpful that you make it known from the start.  We know and understand that marriages can end for all sorts of different, complex and often painful reasons. Your having been married before will not necessarily be an obstacle to your marrying in church or asking for a Service of Blessing, but our Priest will need to explore issues with you in an open, frank and pastoral way. The following link may be of help to you:

http://www.yourchurchwedding.org/youre-welcome/marriage-after-divorce.aspx

If either of you have been married before, please bring copies of actual annulment or divorce papers with you to the meeting with our Parish Priest.
MARRIAGE PREPARATION

The Anglican Church considers Marriage to be a sacrament, “an outward and visible sign of God-given grace”. As such, we consider the preparation of couples for marriage as an essential step in getting ready for their life together.

If you are resident in the parish, you will be expected to attend church regularly for Sunday worship and attend marriage preparation meetings with our Parish clergy. These are a total of three or four meetings spread over a period of 3 – 4 months.

If you are not resident in the parish, you will be expected to attend your local church and receive marriage preparation from your parish priest. A formal signed letter from the parish priest, stating that you have attended church and received marriage preparation, will be required.

 

CHOOSING DATE and TIME:

The biggest temptation facing couples that are planning their wedding is to let the restaurant or hotel hosting the reception dictate the date and time!

People will not remember or celebrate the reception; they will remember and celebrate “the moment”, the spirit with which you say your vows to each other. In other words, the church service!

Ours is a busy and lively parish. We celebrate many marriages and take in bookings sometimes two years in advance. It is therefore critically important that you explore dates and times with us BEFORE you start looking at reception venues.

Our parish church is set in a picturesque hamlet with narrow streets so parking is limited. The Black Horse pub does have a parking area for patrons but, please, do not assume that you will be allowed use of it.  You must talk to the landlord well ahead of time if you wish to explore using the pub’s parking area.

Please note:  We do not celebrate weddings during the seasons of Lent (the 40 days leading up to Easter) or Advent (the 4 weeks prior to Christmas).

 

ORDER OF SERVICE:

We do not have orders of service available for electronic transmission.  We do, however, have a selection of hardcopies that other couples have had printed for you to look at and be guided by.

As we are an Anglican parish we are limited to those services authorised by the Church of England.

Some couples opt for Holy Communion/Eucharist as part of their marriage or blessing service.  If you would like to have a Eucharist as part of your service, please, raise this with our parish priest.

 

READINGS:

It is customary to have between one and three readings in the course of the service. At least one these must be a biblical reading.  Some couples like to choose non-biblical readings such as Khalil Gibran’s ‘The Prophet’.  There is flexibility and the important point is that you choose that which enables you to express the uniqueness of your personalities and relationship.

You may need to identify readers from amongst your guests and, or, family well ahead of the date of your wedding.  It is a wonderful way of involving those you love in the service and of allowing them to add their own unique contribution to “the day”.

If you aren’t sure of what readings you would like included in the service, don’t worry, our priest will gladly help you.

 

HOMILY:

This is an optional extra.  It is a space where either our parish priest or an invited speaker addresses you and your assembled guests.  It is an opportunity to link and blend something of your stories, Christian teaching on marriage, and the readings.

 

MUSIC:

Our parish is blessed with a number of talented musicians willing to play at services.  They will be very much involved in the planning of the service and will be happy to advise you as to choice of music.

We are also fortunate in that we are among those rare worshipping communities that can count on a fully robed choir.  If you would like to add beauty and colour to the music at your wedding service by involving our choir, please, let us know.

FLOWERS:

At present, we suggest that you contact a florist you know and trust with whom you can discuss how to bring the best out of our picturesque and ancient church.

FEES SCHEDULE:

Church: Publication of Banns £   21.00
  Certificate of Banns £   13.00
  Rehearsal and Marriage Service £ 381.00
  Marriage Certificate £     4.00 
Organist:   £   70.00
Choir:   £ 160.00
Optional extras:
Bells £   60.00

 

Collection during the service:

Our parish increasingly needs to become a self-supporting church. The care and maintenance of our ancient church is the responsibility of the congregation which, as with many rural churches, is small.

We depend on the generosity of those who use our beautiful church to help us to maintain and repair the fabric so that future generations may enjoy the blessings that you experience here.  Please consider including an offering to be taken up during the service.