- Category: Life events
- Published Date
One of the joys of our ministry as a church is being part of so many of life's important moments for so many people. We'd love to discuss being a part of your special day (read on to find out what's possible and what's not).
As a church who values marriage, we offer marriage preparation, aimed at helping make your relationship even better. Feedback from those who come is always really positive, so we hope you'll make that a priority in the midst of all your preparations.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can we get married in St. Mary's?
You can get married in St. Mary's if:
- you live within the parish. Any address with an MK3 postcode is within our parish.
- you are on the Electoral Roll (our membership list). If you are not resident in the parish, you can become eligible to join our membership list only after worshipping with us regularly for six months.
- You have a qualifying connection with this church (more information about qualifying connections can be found here)
What form does the service take?
Marriages in St. Mary's are conducted according to the rites of the Church of England only. This means that the form of vows, the declarations and the structure of the service cannot be changed other than to other licensed alternatives (for example, you can’t write your own vows). A Bible reading would always be included, and an address about the Christian understanding of marriage would be given.
When can we get married?
Marriages normally take place on Saturdays, usually between the hours of 1pm and 5pm, though other days and times are possible. There may be more than one wedding on any given Saturday, particularly in the Summer months, but these are always scheduled by us to be at least an hour and a half apart. We do not take marriage services on Sundays as we have five regular Sunday services making the day extremely busy.
What else do we need to do before the day?
The first thing to do is to contact our Church Office (01908 366531) to arrange to fill out the forms and look at available dates and times. We are happy to take bookings well in advance on the payment of a small deposit.
We also offer a Marriage Preparation course three times a year for couples intending to get married or wanting to work at their existing relationship. We strongly recommend this. Couples are often reluctant to come to the course, and then express the desire that the course had been longer! Finding just a single afternoon to invest in your relationship is critically important – you’ll probably spend more time on the flowers than that!
What happens if one of us has been married before?
In exceptional circumstances, we do conduct the further marriages of those who have been divorced. It tends to be restricted to those who can show, through regular church attendance over a long period, that it is an absolute priority to them to have a Christian marriage service in the sight of God. Please contact us and one of our clergy team will be happy to come and chat through this issue with you.
Even if it does not prove possible for a further marriage, we are always happy to offer the alternative of a service of blessing and dedication after a civil marriage service. This service is easy to arrange and is a wonderful alternative to a full church wedding.
Why do we charge for weddings?
Statutory legal fees are set nationally by the Church of England and approved by Parliament. These cover the costs of providing authorised ministers and cover the costs of maintaining church buildings, routine administration, including arranging dates and times and the making of entries in registers, making the church available and lighting it. Additional fees apply for optional extras such as providing an organist and the services of a verger. The community expects its parish church to be maintained in good condition for when it wants to use it, but the upkeep and repair of a Grade 1 listed medieval building is very expensive and no central funds are available to meet these costs. All the money required to run and maintain St Mary's church building for current and future generations has to be raised locally.
Increasingly people are recognising that lasting love is something to celebrate, and we are taking a growing number of special services to help people celebrate particular anniversaries. If you’d like to do that, or to renew your vows for any reason, please contact the Church Office (01908 366531). This service is easy to arrange and involves no legal preliminaries.