Weddings at St Cyr's

St. Cyr's Church, Stonehouse

“Qualifying Connection” for marriage in St. Cyr’s

I am often asked, “Can we get married in St. Cyr's Church?” and I hope it will be helpful if I set out a summary of the legal rules involved.  I am always happy to discuss things further if there are particular questions or problems.

The Church of England wants to encourage marriage and claims a particular responsibility for each and every couple in England wanting to take this step of lifelong commitment.  We aim to fulfil that responsibility through the “parish” system where every dwelling in England is situated in a particular parish which has a “Parish Church.”  So any couple who wish to go through a Church of England ceremony of marriage are entitled to do so in their Parish Church, (subject to legal constraints such as the prohibition of incest, bigamy and child marriage!)  If either party has a marriage or civil partnership partner still alive, further questions will need to be asked before that can happen, but marriage cannot be refused because either party has not been baptised.

It may happen that a couple not living in the parish of Stonehouse wish to be married at St. Cyr's, the commonest reason for this being the availability of reception venues close by.  I would encourage anyone considering this step first to consider their relationship with their own Parish Church.  That community will always offer a warm welcome to those planning to get married.  If you continue to want your marriage at St. Cyr's, the law requires that you must have a “Qualifying Connection” with the parish of Stonehouse.  It may be that you already have such a connection or that you need to establish that connection in the next six months before a marriage can legally take place.

So ask yourselves, does either of us already have a qualifying connection?  This can include:-

  1. has either of us ever lived in the parish of Stonehouse? (for a period of at least 6 months)

  2. has any one of our parents lived in Stonehouse during our lifetime?
    (again for at least 6 months)

  3. has either of us had our baptism or confirmation registered by the Church of England in the parish of Stonehouse?

  4. has any one of our parents or grandparents been married at St. Cyr's?

  5. has either of us attended worship at St. Cyr's “habitually” over any period of 6 months?

  6. has any one of our parents attended worship at St. Cyr's “habitually” over any period of 6 months?

            If any of those apply, you have a right to be married in the Parish Church of Stonehouse.  We will need to arrange a meeting to fix a date and a time and to get forms filled in.  Please get in touch to do so preferably by 'phone or personal contact at Church on a Sunday.

            If not, you can still “qualify” by attending worship “habitually” at St. Cyr's over a period of 6 months before the wedding.  So come along as soon as you can to a Sunday morning service at 9.45 a.m. and we can talk through things then.  (One word of caution – if there are five Sundays in a month, the service on the fifth Sunday is usually a joint one with the Methodist Church at 10.30; please ask for details.)

    May God's blessing go with you richly as you make your decisions about how best to express the wonderful commitment that you are making to one another.  Please don't hesitate to get in touch, by coming to see us on a Sunday, or by 'phone, e-mail or post.

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