Christian Marriage is a gift of God and a sacrament of his Church. It should be entered into with thoughtfulness and prayer. Please speak to the clergy if you are contemplating getting married and are hoping to have your marriage service in St Matthias. Certain rules apply which can be discussed.
You can arrange to get married at St Matthias if (see further explanation and advice below)
- neither you nor the person you hope to marry are subject to immigration controls and / or have overstayed your visa; and
- you meet the Church of England’s rules for being connected to the parish church in which you would like to get married.
If one of these criteria seems to be a problem in your case, don’t panic. Read the information below and feel free to contact us if you need to know more. We will require documentary proof of these things and may have to refer you to other agencies or authorities (such as the Registrar or the Home Office) in case of doubt, particularly with regard to immigration status.
How do we know if we are ‘connected’ enough to St Matthias to marry there?
You can marry in a Church of England church such as St Matthias if you can show that one of you:
- has at any time lived in the parish for a period of at least six months or
- was Baptized in the parish concerned or
- was prepared for Confirmation in the parish or
- has at any time regularly gone to normal church services in the parish church for a period of at least six months or
that one of your parents, at any time after you were born:
- has lived in the parish for a period of at least six months or
- has regularly gone to normal church services in the parish church for a period of at least six months or
that one of your parents or grandparents:
- was married in the parish.
What does ‘in the parish’ mean?
Each Church of England church serves an area called a parish. It has fixed boundaries and you can check which parish you live in by visiting http://www.achurchnearyou.com/ and searching with your postcode. Because of the variety in size and shape of parishes, the Church of England church you are nearest may not be your parish church, especialy in large cities.
How much does it cost?
Fees are levied for Weddings, but they are relatively small in the context of the average cost of a wedding, reception and honeymoon. Some of these are set by the authorities; some are set by the parish. Those wishing to be married at St Matthias will be asked to make a commitment to regular worship as part of their preparation for Christian Marriage.
Banns of Marriage
If you live in the parish of St Matthias, Stoke Newington but are getting married elsewhere, you will probably be required by the Vicar of that church to ‘get your Banns read’ at St Matthias. This is straightforward to arrange. Please contact us to arrange an appointment to do the necessary paperwork.
I (or my partner) are subject to immigration controls or have overstayed a visa
The Church of England is obliged to uphold the law as to who can marry in the UK, which includes the visa status of non-EU citizens and the Immigration Act 2004. People who enter the UK on a visa and wish to marry an EU citizen must have permission to do so as part of thier visa, and their visa must be current. Marrying in the Church of England is not a way of evading the requirements of the law or the consequences of having overstayed a visa, because the legal reqirements must be satisfied before the marriage can take place.
We advise anyone who wishes to seek to get married at St Matthias, or any other Church of England parish church to resolve any immigration and other visa issues before approaching us. You may have to be referred to the Superintendent Registrar or the Home Office to obtain the correct paperwork and permissions.