top of page

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.

Polly Freeman  

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. These include:

1 One of you was Baptised or prepared for Confirmation in the parish

2 One of you has lived in the parish for six months or more

3 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 wedding


4 One of your parents has regularly attended public worship there for six months or more in your lifetime

5 Your parents have lived in the parish for a period of at least six months since you were born

6 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


If you are to be married at a Registry Office, it may be possible to celebrate your marriage with a service of

blessing in the Church. Again, please let us know if you wish to explore this further.

There are legal requirements for the wedding itself:


7 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  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 both Parishes.


8 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


9 It must be according to the authorised rights of the Church of England

10 There must be at least two witnesses

11 If one of you is under 18 years, the written consent of your parents or guardians is required

12 We do not conduct usually wedding services during Lent or Advent (unless there are exceptional



12 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 to check what documentation you will need to be

married in the UK

13 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


14 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


15 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 address).


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 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 passportholders.  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 required.

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 and there is disabled access through the Church Room.


The Church of England sets the fees payable for a church wedding. For 2022 they are as follows:

Publication of Banns of Marriage £32

Marriage Service in Church £480

Verger £50

For weddings held during Covid restrictions, we will have to carry out extra cleaning for which there will be a

charge of £25.

Our Organist’s fee in mandatory and the charge is £120.

If you would like our bells to be rung, the charge is £130. If you require the church to be heated this will cost


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 2022 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 further details.

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 further



Revd Dr Diane Rees

The Vicarage 01959 522363

Station Road


Kent. TN14 7SA


The first contact you should make is with the wedding administrator Polly Freeman

Weddings Administrator 07901 855887 to discuss eligibility, dates and times.

bottom of page