Congratulations on your engagement. We are delighted that you are thinking of getting married in church.
To discuss your plans and book a date come to the church any Saturday morning between 10.30am and 11.30am.
Getting Married at St Stephen’s
People chose a church wedding for a whole range of reasons, perhaps because of tradition or the attractive building. However the most important reason for getting married in church is that you will be making your wedding vows in the sight of God and asking God to be part of the whole of your married life together.
The Weddings Section of the Church of England Website has some useful suggestions for music, hymns and readings to personalise your wedding service. Often couples opt for traditional favourites such as ‘Here Comes the Bride’ from Wagner’s ‘Lohengrin’ and Mendelssohn’s ‘Wedding March’, played on the organ. However it is equally possible to enter and leave the church to a CD of your favourite music. When choosing hymns it is best to chose popular ones which your guests will be likely to know. You will be able to discuss your ideas when you meet with the priest to plan the wedding service.
Before a wedding can take place there are various legal formalities to be completed and there must be time for marriage preparation. For this reason, except in cases of serious illness or other similar emergency, there will need to be a gap of at least three months between first contact and the date of the wedding. Therefore please make sure that you contact the Vicar in good time to make arrangements. To avoid disappointment, please check that the church is available before booking your reception venue.
It is not possible for weddings to take place at St Stephen’s on a Sunday as the church buildings are in use by other church groups on Sunday afternoons.
Marriage after Divorce
At St Stephen’s we understand that some marriages fail and we try to help people rebuild their lives in new relationships. There are some circumstances in which marriage in Church after a divorce may be possible. If not, we can usually offer a service of blessing after a civil marriage. If you have been divorced and would like to discuss the possibility of being married a second time in church or having your civil marriage blessed, please contact the Vicar after the 10am service on Saturdays or at another time by agreement.
Civil Partnerships/Equal Marriage
The Church of England does not conduct Civil Partnerships nor, at present, conduct weddings for same-sex couples. We regret this policy deeply as we know it sends a very negative message to gay and lesbian people but we would be delighted to conduct a service of thanksgiving after a civil ceremony. Contact Fr. Geoffrey if you would like to discuss your plans.
As a Church of England Church, St Stephen’s has to charge various Statutory Fees which are laid down by the Central Board of Finance. In addition there are charges for the services of our verger (who sets up the church), organist, flowers (if required) and heating (between September and May). There is also an additional fee (payable to the organist) if you have a professional video recording of the service.
We ask couples to pay a returnable deposit of £100 when booking their wedding. This will be refunded after the wedding if it starts with 30 minutes of the booked time. Fees must be paid in full no later than one month before the wedding.
Wedding fees (Fees payable from January 2023)
1) PAROCHIAL AND CENTRAL FUNDS FEES AUTHORISED BY PARLIAMENT – (You can check these on the Church of England Website)
£36.00 – Publication of Banns of Marriage
£18.00 – Banns certificate (if you are marrying in another church)
£528.00 – Marriage Service
= £583.00 Sub-total
2) PARISH FEES
£100 deposit that is returnable if the service starts within 30 minutes of its booked time.
£48.00 – Verger’s fee
For marriages between 15th September and end of May and at other times if church heating is needed:
£90.00 – Heating charge
3) EXTRAS (if required)
£125.00 – Contribution towards flowers (2 arrangements)
£65.00 – One extra arrangement
You can bring further arrangements but you will be responsible for placing them and getting them removed.
£98.00 – Organist’s fee. If an audio recording is made of the service the organist is entitled to charge a further £98.00
If one or both of you live outside the parish you will need to get your Banns read in that church (or churches), too. A fee is payable for this.
All fees must be paid at least one month before the wedding date. Please see the “home”page for methods of payment.
Blessings of civil weddings, renewal of vows and thanksgivings for Civil Partnerships
£228.00 – Church fee
Extras to be charged based on the list above.
To view our legal information, please click here