Marrying in church is personal, meaningful, spiritual and beautiful, just as you want it to be. Getting married is one of the most serious decisions we make in life. As well as being a big commitment, it has an impact on family, friends and the whole of society.
Getting Married in Berkeley Benefice We are delighted to welcome you to one of our churches for your marriage service. Weddings are normally taken by the Priest in Charge, or a retired clergyperson from the benefice.
It is important that you prepare carefully, for both the service and for your life together. Between booking your wedding date and the day itself we would like to invite you to find just one day to spend thinking about the future of your marriage. Even if you have been together some time, from experience we know that this day of reflection will give you some tools and strategies that will help you build a strong and lasting relationship.
To book a wedding or blessing, please contact the Priest in Charge, Rev'd Steve Godsell. You will need to complete the Wedding/Blessing Application Form, then arrange to meet to confirm your ID and to book a date.
Who Can Be Married Here? The rules governing in which church a person may marry were changed nationally between 2008 and 2012. They are complex but the following gives general guidance. If there is a query, it should be referred to the Priest in Charge before any arrangements are made.
The Berkeley Benefice consists of three separate parish churches – St Mary the Virgin, Berkeley with Breadstone, Newport & Wick, All Saints', Stone with Woodford, and St Michael's, Hill, You may marry in one of these parish churches if:
One or both of you lives within the ecclesiastical parish boundary, or
You or both of you are on the church electoral roll of that parish church, or
One or both of you have, at any time, lived within that parish for a period of at least 6 months, or
One or both of you were baptised in that parish, or
One or both of you were prepared for confirmation in the benefice, or
One or both of you have at any time regularly gone to normal church services in that parish church for a period of at least 6 months, or
One of your parents, at any time after you were born:
Has lived in that parish for a period of at least 6 months.
Has regularly gone to normal church services that parish church for a period of at least 6 months, or
One of your parents or grandparents was married in that parish.
These rules do not allow qualification in one of the parishes to authorize a wedding in any of the others, except that those who qualify to be married by the first of the above (i.e. one or both of you lives within a parish) may choose which of the three parish churches you wish to married in. One would normally choose one’s own parish church but there may be good reason to prefer another.
What about a Blessing? We wold be delighted to conduct a Blessing of your Marriage (also known as a Service of Prayer and Dedication after a Civil Marriage). The service has some similarities to a wedding service but is a moment when a couple is able to dedicate their marriage to God, before their friends and family. We apply the same requirements for connection to those seeking a blessing of their marriage as we for weddings.
Marriage after divorce Those who have been previously married, and have a previous spouse or civil partner still alive, have no automatic right to a church wedding but all such cases will be reviewed considerately by the Priest in Charge before a decision is made as to whether it will be allowed.
Fees The cost of a wedding or blessing in church depends on your choices. Some of the charges are fixed by law for every service, others are optional. Fees vary from year to year as The Church Commissioners set the statutory fees with effect from 1st January each year, and the PCC also sets local fees from 1st January each year.
Please contact the Priest in Charge, Rev'd Steve Godsell, if you have any further questions or wish to apply for a wedding or blessing in the Berkeley Benefice. email@example.com or 01453 810294
For more information on planning a wedding or blessing at any of the churches within the Berkeley Benefice, including arrangements for reading banns, please download this document: