We are delighted when couples seek to have their wedding service at St Mark’s. Every effort is made to make the day the happy occasion it ought to be. We are committed to providing the best quality wedding possible, and to offering preparation for married life – the biggest adventure of all!
We are praying that everyone who gets married at St Mark’s will experience the deep love of God, who binds you together.
The marriage ceremony is basically the same whether it’s held in a Church or a Register Office. It is a public declaration of your love for each other and a statement of your commitment to an ongoing relationship.
If you choose to get married in church you are also saying that you want God to be part of your relationship. Christians believe that the love you have for each other is a reflection of God’s love for all his people on earth. You will have ups and downs like any other couple, but Including God in your marriage is the best thing you can do – he invented it! And you will know that you can look to him for help and guidance and that his love will sustain you in the years ahead. You will also have the support and encouragement of your Christian church family to rely on.
You can get married here if you live in the parish, or have a “qualifying connection” to the church. If neither of you live in this parish, by law you must show you have a qualifying connection to St Mark’s. This process has to be explored before the wedding can be confirmed. Click here to find out more information from The Church of England about weddings and blessings in church.
Before you can get married you will need either a Licence, or to have your Banns read out in church on three consecutive Sundays during the three months preceding the wedding. Both Licences and Banns are valid for three months.
If one of you lives in another parish, then the Banns must also be read in the Parish Church of that parish. The latter parish will, after the required three readings, issue a Certificate which you should collect and bring to St Mark’s Church no later than four weeks before the wedding.
If the person qualifying for residence within the parish should move out of the parish prior to the Banns being read, he/she should contact one of the Clergy immediately.
Every church has to weigh up two conflicting truths:
- that marriage vows are made for life and should not be broken,
- that we are all imperfect and that when we fail the forgiveness of Christ can offer a new beginning.
At St Mark’s we follow the Bishop’s guidelines on remarriage following a divorce before offering a wedding service in the church. This is a process we need to go through with each couple before a decision can be made. If you would like to explore this way forward please contact one of the clergy who would be glad to meet with you.
We believe that people spend more time learning to drive a car than studying the basic skills of relationships – communication, handling conflict, understanding the different ways we give and receive love. It is good to prepare for your life together. We offer amarriage preparation day, normally in February, to all couples getting married at St Mark’s. It’s enjoyable, non-threatening, and we believe gives a strong foundation for the future. We will be in touch with you to give you the details of this opportunity, and strongly hope you can take part.
In terms of planning the wedding itself, the clergyperson who is marrying you will be in touch and will see you twice in order to plan the service and get to know you. There will be a rehearsal before the wedding as well.
Once a year we run a day course looking at the basic skills of marriage and relationships. It includes food, candlelight, talks and discussion exercises. We offer the course to everyone who gets married at St Mark’s a year after the event.
This should be done once you are sure of your preferred marriage date.
If hymns are to be sung it is likely that you will require the organ. You may wish to book our Choir. If so, please notify the clergy when booking your wedding or entering your Banns. The fees should be paid in cash at the rehearsal of your wedding.
Dorothy Maxwell, our organist, will be delighted to help you with any musical requirements for your wedding. Please get in touch with her via the church office.
Service sheets are a matter of personal choice. If personalised service sheets are to be printed you can organise these directly with a printer, having first consulted the clergy as to what is normally included. It would assist with the smooth running of your wedding if your printed service sheets are delivered to St Mark’s Parish Office at least two days before the wedding. Do ask for details.
We will do all we can to accommodate your flower requirements, however you will need to supply your own arrangers. Our own flower arrangers do need to know what your plans are in order to make the necessary adjustments for our regular Sunday flowers. Please could you ensure that you contact Ann Fitzgerald (Tel 884682) about your flower arrangements.
There is no charge for permission to take photographs. If you wish to make a video recording a charge will be made and a licence is required. The clergy need to discuss details with your photographer before the service begins.
If for any reason the wedding has to be cancelled or postponed, it is important that this be confirmed in writing at the earliest possible time.
We ask that you pay the wedding fees when the banns are first read at St Mark’s, so fees can be distributed to the organist, verger, etc.
Only petals may be used at the front of church. If non-degradable confetti is used, we ask that you do so round the side of the building near the vestry door. We appreciate your co-operation in helping your church to look well cared for!
For more information or to book a wedding contact the church office by calling 01423 544528 Mon, Tues, Wed, Thurs, Fri, 9am-12noon or by filling in the contact from below.