Can we get married at St. Paul's Church?
The law is quite clear about which categories of people can get married in a particular church. The good news is that it has recently been changed to give you more choice about which church you can get married in.
In order to get married at St. Paul's Church, you would normally need to show that this statement is true for your fiance or for yourself:
One of us either (a) has St. Paul's as our LOCAL church or (b) has a CONNECTION with St. Paul's
In this statement, LOCAL means that you must live in the parish, a geographical area around the church. The map on this page will tell you whether you live in the parish, and therefore satisfy this criterion. You can show this to be true by providing proof of address.
In this statement, the kind of qualifying CONNECTION you can claim is legally defined:
- One of you must at any time have lived in the parish for a period of at least 6 months; or
- one of you must have been baptised in the parish; or
- one of you must have been prepared for confirmation in the parish; or
- one of you must, at any time, have regularly gone to normal church services in the parish church for a period of at least 6 months; or
- one of your parents, at any time after you were born, must have lived in the parish for a period of at least 6 months; or
- one of your parents, at any time after you were born, must have regularly gone to normal church services in the parish church for a period of at least 6 months; or
- one of your parents or grandparents must have been married in the parish.
You can show you satisfy each of these statements in a different way. The easier ones involve the church registers for baptism, wedding, confirmation, electoral roll, which are likely to be kept in the church safe. It is harder to show that someone lived in a particular place at some point in the past (e.g. bills or bank statements might be needed).
Can we get married at all?
Churches in the Church of England, including St. Paul's, are required to follow the law of the land. The Citizen's Advice Bureau has a useful guide to the law in this area. Please note that:
- if either of you is divorced, as a minimum you will need a "Decree Absolute", and you would also need to attend an invinterview with the Vicar.
- if either of you is a foreign national, you will need to obtain a "Superintendent Registrar's Certificate" from the Oldham Registrar.
If you are not sure whether these apply to you, please make contact and we can talk it through!
Oldham Register Office's "How to get married" page contains a wealth of information about the legalities and practicalities of organising a Wedding: Licenses, Superintendent Registrar's Certificates etc.
If you meet are eligible to get married, then the next question is: