If you are planning to get married, and you and/or your partner lives in the parish, is on the parish electoral roll, or has some other established connection with the area (eg one of you formerly attended the church or was baptised here) we will be very happy to talk to you about your being married at St Mark’s.
In the first instance, please contact us by phone: 020 8363 2780; by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; by speaking to one of the clergy after a service; or by calling into church on Saturday mornings between 11:00am and 12 noon, when one of them will usually be around to speak to.
A Church of England wedding is both a Christian service and a legal process, and will be preceded by a series of interviews between the vicar and the couple, to explain the religious significance of the ceremony, to ensure that they understand the seriousness of the vows (promises) that they will be making, and to agree the form of service. From the legal point of view, it is also necessary for the vicar to ascertain early on whether the marriage can be “by banns” (a traditional process in which a proposed marriage is announced in church in advance) or whether a special licence is required (this may apply in certain circumstances, including where one or both of the couple does not hold UK citizenship). In either case, it is usually necessary to allow 6 months between approaching the vicar and the proposed date of the wedding; so it is advisable to contact him at an early stage. Please note that, in keeping with Christian tradition, we do not generally conduct weddings in the season of Lent (the period between Ash Wednesday and Easter Sunday).
In addition, there are separate rules if either of the parties has been married before and a former spouse is still alive. In such circumstances, a church wedding may only be possible after a long period of preparation; and couples to whom this applies often find it easier to have a civil wedding ceremony (eg at a registry office) followed by a service of blessing in church. The clergy will be happy to arrange this.
The statutory fee for a church wedding is relatively modest; and even when the cost of hiring an organist, of providing flowers, and other church expenses are added, the total cost need not be more than a few hundred pounds. Yet modern weddings can turn into extremely expensive events, with thousands of pounds being spent on a reception alone. But at St Mark’s we are conscious that some may not have the means to do this, or prefer something simpler. We are therefore pleased to be able to offer the church’s facilities for a simple reception following a wedding or blessing service, at a modest fee (designed only to cover our costs). Please ask about this if you feel it might be suitable for you.
In any case, do not be afraid to enquire about any aspect of getting married at St Mark's: we will do our best to help.
To find out more about marriage in the Church of England, you may like to visit: