The Church of St. Peter & St. Paul, Shoreham
Patrons: The Dean and Chapter of Westminster
Marriages at St Peter & St Paul Shoreham
We are delighted that you are interested in being married in our beautiful Church. Weddings have
been celebrated here for over 900 years, so you will be part of a long tradition. These notes are
designed to guide you through the process but please do ask us if you have any questions.
Preparation for marriage takes about eight months. There are legal requirements that need to be
satisfied before a marriage can take place. As the Established Church, the Church of England gives a
person, with no former partner still living, the right to be married in the parish church where they are
resident (you must have lived there for six months or more). However, you can marry at a church
which is not your local parish church if you can prove a qualifying connection to the church you wish
to be married in.
- One of you was Baptised or prepared for Confirmation in the parish
- One of you has lived in the parish for six months or more
- One of you has at any time regularly (at least once, but preferably twice a month) attended
public worship in the parish for ideally for a year but for not less than six months before your
Banns are read. A register is kept of attendance at our Services to satisfy this legal
requirement. Please note that you must have satisfied this qualification before your Banns are
read so you will need to start attending our Services at least eight months before your
- One of your parents has regularly attended public worship there for six months or more in
- Your parents have lived in the parish for a period of at least six months since you were born
- Your parents or grandparents were married in the parish
If you have a qualifying connection you will be required to provide evidence for this. If this involves
searches in registers, you may be required to pay a fee for this.
If either of you have been divorced, it may still be possible for you to be married in Church but there
will be additional forms to complete and we will need to see your Decree Absolute. Please contact us
for further details.
If you are to be married at a Registry Office, you can celebrate your marriage with a service of
blessing in the Church (see fees below).
There are legal requirements for the wedding itself:
- Your Banns will be called three times in the three months leading up to your wedding during
the main Sunday Service at St Peter & St Paul. If either of you do not live within the Parish of
St Peter & St Paul, your Banns must also be called in the Church of England parish in which
you live, three times in the three months before your wedding. Confusingly this is not always
the church you are nearest to. Please visit www.achurchnearyou.com to locate your parish
Church. Please contact your local parish priest to arrange for your Banns to be read. You must
give the certificate, that they will give to you, to the Vicar of St Peter & St Paul to prove this
has been done. If the Bride and Groom live in different parishes, the Banns must be called in
-The wedding may take place on any day of the week, except Sundays and other principal feast
days, and must be between 8am and 6pm
-It must be according to the authorised rights of the Church of England
-There must be at least two witnesses
-If one of you is under 18 years, the written consent of your parents or guardians is required
-We do not conduct usually wedding services during Lent or Advent (unless there are
- You will both need to show the Vicar your passport and another form of identification and
give her a copy of both of these documents. If either of you are not a UK passport holder, you
will need to consult www.gov.uk/marriages-civil-partnerships to check what documentation
you will need to be married in the UK
- You will both need to show the Vicar one proof of ID (passport/driving licence) and one of
residence (eg utility bill) and give her paper copies
- If you are divorced or your marriage has been dissolved. The Vicar will need to see your
decree absolute and keep a copy of this
- The Vicar, or person officiating at your wedding, will meet with you on an informal basis, to
talk to you about the meaning of marriage and to plan the Order of Service. Your Order of
Service must include certain elements must approved by the Vicar before it is printed
Please be aware that these checks of ID, Residency and Marital Status are a legal requirement and
without them the marriage cannot take place. Please make sure that all your documents show the
same address (and remember it is an offence to have a driving licence not showing your current
Registration of your wedding
The procedures for the Registration of Marriages have changed: The Signing of the Registers no
longer take place during the Marriage Ceremony but, rather, a Marriage Document (or Marriage
Schedule if either of you are not UK passport holders) is filled in prior to your wedding and then
signed and witnessed during your Ceremony. Bridal couples generally ask their parents/step parents
to witness their wedding but anyone of your choosing, so long as they are over 18 years old, can be a
witness. We suggest you ask between two and four people to be witnesses. On our Booking Form,
we ask for your parents (both living and deceased) and (if applicable) step parents, names and
occupations which we are required to send to the Local Registry Office. Please let us know if this
information is difficult for you to supply. If either of your parents are retired, please put their
previous occupations with retired in brackets afterwards. We will send the Marriage Document (or
Marriage Schedule) to the Local Registry Office who will then issue your Certificate of Marriage (they
will charge for this Certificate). Please see advice on www.gov.uk about changing names on
passports following a wedding including obtaining a post-dated passport with a change of surname
(you must remember to book any holidays in the names that are on your passports). St Peter & St
Paul will issue a Form of Acknowledgement following your Service but this is not a legal document.
Please let us know if either of you are not UK passport holders. The names that you Banns are read
in must be the same names that we will notify to the Local Registry Office Registers.
We ask that you provide your own flowers for pedestal arrangements, window sills and pew ends as
Please note that if you will be taking your flowers away after your wedding, you must leave one
pedestal arrangement in front of the screen so that the church has flowers in it for the Sunday
service. This is because our flower arrangers will not be able to access the Church around your
wedding to install our usual floral arrangement. Please could you arrange for any other flowers left
in the Church after your wedding to be taken away in the week following your wedding.
Please make sure that your florist is aware that blutack and pins are not allowed to be used in the
Church and care must be taken of its historic interior.
Flowers are not allowed to hang over the top of the Lych gate gold lettering.
You will need to arrange for someone to come to the Church during the week following your wedding
to take the flowers away. Only biodegradable confetti is allowed and we ask that this is only thrown
by the Lych Gate. If any non-biodegradable confetti is used it is your responsibility to clear it away.
Toilets are available at the Church.
The Church of England sets the fees payable for a church wedding. For 2023 they are as follows:
Publication of Banns of Marriage £34
Certificate of Banns £17
Marriage Service in Church £505
Our Organist’s fee in mandatory and the charge is £123.50
For a Service of Blessing of a Registry Office wedding, the charge is £228. Other charges depend on
If you would like our bells to be rung, the charge is £150. If you require the church to be heated this
will cost £40.
You will be required to pay a £100 deposit once your booking form has been filled in and the date
confirmed. The deposit will be deducted from your final invoice.
All these prices are fixed for 2023 and then subject to change.
If you wish to film the service, we ask that your exchange of vows is not filmed. Due to copyright
laws, extra music fees are charged and you will need to apply for a licence. Please contact us for
We require full settlement of payments made by BACS at least two weeks before your wedding. The
Verger and Bell Ringers are paid in cash at your rehearsal.
We do hope that you will want to be married in Shoreham. The next step is to check with Polly
Freeman, our Weddings Administrator, which dates are available and then fill in the Application Form
that she will send you. Once your deposit is paid your date is confirmed. We will send you further
information about holding your wedding at St Peter & St Paul.
We are here to help and support you so please do let us know if you have any queries or require
Revd Dr Diane Rees
The Vicarage 01959 522363
Kent. TN14 7SA
Polly Freeman firstname.lastname@example.org