Today more than a quarter of all marriages in England take place before God in the traditional setting of a Church of England church. You are welcome to marry in church whatever your beliefs, whether or not you are baptised and whether or not you go to church.
Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
1 Corinthians 13:4-7
Despite the emergence of alternative venues in recent years, many couples still prefer to begin married life by making their vows before God in the traditional setting of their local parish church.
The fact is, getting married in church introduces an important spiritual dimension that is absent from secular venues. During a Christian wedding a man and a woman receive God's blessing and make the sincere and binding promise of a life-long commitment to one another in the presence of God and in front of witnesses.
Who can marry at St Paul’s?
Sadly, some couples discount the possibility of a church wedding because they feel they might not be eligible. In reality, whether or not you are baptised and whether or not you attend church, you are more than welcome to marry at St Pauls.
Of course, restrictions imposed by the law mean that it is not always possible for us to marry everyone who would like to hold their wedding at St Paul’s. Nonetheless, the law is less restrictive than you might think.
Essentially, it is possible to get married at St Paul’s if one or both of you:
live in the parish or at any time has lived in the parish for a period of at least 6 months;
has a parent who at any time lived in the parish for a period of at least 6 months during your lifetime;
is on our church electoral roll;
has at any time habitually attended normal church services at St Paul’s for a period of at least 6 months;
has a parent who at any time has habitually attended normal church services at St Paul’s for a period of at least 6 months;
was baptised at St Paul’s;
was prepared for confirmation through St Pauls;
has a parent or grandparent who was married at St Pauls.
Even if none of the above apply, it may still be possible to marry at St Paul’s. To discuss further, phone the Revd. Liz Rowles on 07763 188149.
Marriage after divorce
The Church of England teaches that marriage is created by God to be a lifelong relationship between a man and woman. The Church therefore expects all couples seeking marriage to intend to live together "for better for worse....till death us do part".
The Church also recognises that, sadly, some marriages fail and there are some circumstances in which it is appropriate for a divorcee to be married in church during the lifetime of a former spouse.
There is no bar to divorcees marrying at St Paul’s.
However, each situation is different and before agreeing to conduct such a wedding, it will be necessary for us to consider whether it would be appropriate to do so.
If it is not possible for you to marry at St Paul’s, it might still be possible for us to bless your marriage following a civil ceremony.
How much will it cost?
You could marry at St Paul’s for as little as £528 (the statutory fees for 2023 , if St. Pauls is your home Parish). However, the cost of the verger, the organist, the choir and any other extras will increase this price.