The law entitles you to be married in the Church of England Parish Church where either of you lives. If you are an active, worshipping member of another church congregation, it is usually possible to be married there.
From October 2008, the national legislation was changed and now stipulates that to get married in a particular parish church you need to have a ‘qualifying connection’ with that parish. In the first instance this would be living in the parish, but if you are not a resident, you would need to show another connection. This could be any one of the following:
That one of you:
- has at any time lived in the parish for a period of at least 6 months or
- was baptised 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 6 months
That one of your parents, at any time after you were born:
- has lived in the parish for a period of at least 6 months or
- has regularly gone to normal church services in the parish church for a period of at least 6 months
That one of your parents or grandparents:
- was married in the parish.
If none of these apply it is still possible to qualify by way of attendance. You would need to attend services regularly over a period of six months prior to your wedding date (and by regularly it means at least once or twice a month – 10 times over six months) and this would then fulfil the necessary requirements.
In certain circumstances you can apply for a Special Licence. At the moment you can only have a Church of England wedding in a parish church or some other place of worship - normally one licenced by the Bishop.