Who Can be Married in Church and Other Queries

Who can get married in Guilsfield Church?

The law says that in order to get married in a particular church you must either currently live in the parish or be able to show evidence of one of seven possible “qualifying connections” with it, which are:

That either of you (ie the couple getting married):

  1. Have at any time lived in the parish for a period of at least 6 months
  2. Were baptised in that church
  3. Were prepared for confirmation in that church
  4. Has at any time regularly gone to normal church services in that church for a period of at least 6 months

Or that one of your parents, at any time after you were born:

  1. Has lived in the parish for a period of at least 6 months
  2. Has regularly gone to normal church services in the church for a period of at least 6 months
  3. That one of your parents or grandparents was married in the church.

If you do not already have a qualifying connection you can establish one by attending services at least once a month for six months, provided there is enough time before we need to read the banns. If you want to do this, please talk to the vicar as soon as possible.

Recent merges in the parish boundaries within our Mission Area mean that the parish boundary now stretches from Llandyssil to Llandysilio and from Castle Careinion to Criggion, so if you have a qualifying connection with any of the churches within that area you can get married at Guilsfield Church. This also means that if  you have a qualifying connection with Guilsfield church but for any reason you don’t want to get married here, (we can’t imagine why not, but perhaps you need somewhere larger or smaller) you can get married in any of the other churches in the Mission Area.

One or both of us hasn’t been christened is that a problem?

No- there’s no need to be christened to have a church wedding.

One of us has been divorced is that a problem?

Christians believe that marriage is a lifelong commitment, the vows say “as long as we both shall live,” but we realise that sadly some relationships fail to last. Being divorced does not necessarily mean you cannot get re-married in church, but we need to meet for a chat about what happened in the past and how this time will be different before a date can be fixed.

We had a civil wedding can we have a wedding blessing service?

Yes even if you don’t have a qualifying connection with the church you can have a blessing.

We’re a same sex couple- does this make a difference?

We’re really sorry that UK law currently prohibits us from offering equal marriage to all who ask us and church law prohibits us from offering a service of blessing. Many of us are praying for that to change. So far the bishops have issued two sets of “Prayers that may be said with a couple following the Celebration of a Civil Partnership or Civil Marriage,” and we’re hoping that further provision may follow soon. If you wish to honour your marriage, within these constraints, in church, please phone the vicar who will be delighted to help.

Do weddings have to be on a Saturday?

We don’t do weddings on Sundays (because the vicar has at least three services every Sunday and you don’t want your friends and family to remember yours as “The Wedding with the Croaky Vicar“) or major church festivals around Easter & Christmas, but you can get married any other day.

We want to renew our vows- can we do this in church?

Yes- you don’t need a qualifying connection for this.

How much does it cost?

Wedding fees are set annually by the Church In Wales central body so we can’t tell you what they will be for future years. In 2019 the fees are £590 which includes the vicar, organist, caretaker & verger’s fees. Optional extras are bells £120, and choir £100. We ask for payment about two weeks before the wedding to enable us to pay people on the day.

When should we book?

Many couples are booking weddings up to two years in advance to get the date they want with reception venues. If necessary you can get an Ecclesiastical Marriage Licence within a couple of days if you’ve got all the paperwork. We can take bookings from a few days to a few years. Get in touch when you’ve decided your date.

There’s no need to fix the exact time of the wedding when you book. If we get a second wedding on the same day we will ask the first couple to fix their time, and offer the second couple a minimum of two hours before or after that. (This hasn’t happened for several years.)

How do we book?

Phone the vicar, Caroline on  01938 554245