GETTING MARRIED in the Churches of the UPPER ITCHEN BENEFICE
Why get married in church?
A marriage service, wherever it is held, is a public declaration of love and commitment to your partner. It is a legal agreement between a man and a woman for life, a partnership between equals which involves sharing everything. If you choose to get married in church, there is an added dimension – the assurance that God cares about your relationship and that his resources and strength are available to help you. Including God in your marriage doesn’t mean that you will avoid all the usual ups and downs, but you will know that you can look to God for help and guidance and that his love will sustain you. You will also have the support and encouragement of the Christian Church family.
Can we be married in one of the churches of the Upper Itchen Benefice?
Usually we can only marry those who live within our benefice or are members of a congregation within it; that’s the law. You can be married in any of our six beautiful parish churches provided:
• Your intention is for lifelong commitment to one another;
• One or other of you lives within the benefice boundaries or worships regularly in one of our churches
By an order of the Bishop of Winchester, if you qualify to marry in one of the churches, you may be married in any of the others. If neither of you lives in the benefice, you may go on the electoral roll of that parish, when you have attended services at the church for six months. In certain circumstances you can apply for a Special Licence.
How do we book one of the churches?
Get in touch with the rector to see whether the church is free on your preferred date. Most weddings are on Saturdays, and must take place during the day (not at night) and we do not usually allow weddings in Lent (the six weeks before Easter Day). The rector will arrange to see you to make the preliminary arrangements. You will be asked to fill in a form giving the following details: full names, ages, occupations, marital status, addresses, nationalities, etc. Once we have booked a date and arrange banns or licence, we will help you prepare for the big day.