Firstly let us congratulate you on your forthcoming wedding and for looking at the parish Church of East Malling St James the Great. St James the Great is a perfect setting for a Church of England wedding service and is only a short distance from many popular Kentish reception venues, for example Bradbourne House. It seats a substantial number of people and can offer a traditional pipe organ or recorded music, a robed choir and of course a peal of bells. The Vicar is very flexible in his approach to your special day.
We hope you find the information below helpful, but don't hesitate to contact the vicar if you have any specific questions, would like to arrange to see the church, or are interested in booking a wedding here. There are some legal questions you will also have to consider.
Can I get married here?
In order to get married in a Church of England church you are required to have what is known as a "qualifying connection": a legitimate reason in law to marry there. These include connections such as if you or your partner have at any time lived in the parish for six months or more, or been baptised at the church, or your parents married there. For a full list of qualifiying connections see here. One of the qualifying connections is regular worship in that church for a period of six months or more, so even if you don't have a qualifying connection already, it is possible to gain one by coming to our Sunday services.
There are certain other legal requirements governing who may be able to be married in church. See here for more details.
How much does it cost?
The overall cost will depend on what you want included in your wedding: for example, if you wish to book an organist or the church choir there is an additional fee. However the basic fee is around £500, which includes the church, the minister, all administration and your wedding certificate. The vicar can let you know the details of other possible costs.
What do I do next?
Contact the vicar, either by telephone or email, or come along to a service on a Sunday morning.. It is never too early to get in touch if you are interested in a church wedding here, and there are no stupid questions. The vicar will be able to answer questions about booking a service, legal preliminaries, costs, and what to include in the service itself. Get in touch too if you are looking for a service of blessing following a wedding in a civic venue. We would be delighted to hear from you.
You can find out more about a Church of England wedding at this website