Can we get married at St John’s?
God invented marriage, and gave it as a gift to all mankind. We therefore welcome enquiries about weddings! However, a church wedding is a legal as well as a Christian ceremony. In order to fulfil the legal requirements people must be married by ‘Banns’ (notice of the wedding being given over three Sundays).
If one of you lives within our parish and neither of you has been married before and you are both UK citizens you can be married here by Banns.
You can check to see if you live within the parish of Lindow by checking this map. In certain other circumstances, you may still be able to be married here: please see the questions below.
How do we apply?
Please contact the Vicar to make an initial enquiry. A date for your wedding cannot be confirmed until you have spoken to the Vicar. You will be given a Banns of Marriage Application Form to fill in and return (even if not marrying by banns). You will then receive a letter containing information to help you prepare for getting married at St John’s. This will include:
- Confirmation of the time & date of your wedding
- A date and time to meet with the Vicar to look through the wedding service
- A date and time for a rehearsal
- The Highway Code for Marriage (book by Michael & Hilary Perrott) – a practical, short and wise book to help you prepare for marriage
Can we get married at St John’s if…
… we don’t live in the parish, and have no links with St. John’s?
Yes, if you attend church regularly for six months in order to qualify for membership of the Electoral Roll. You then marry by Banns.
… we don’t live in the parish, but have links with St. John’s?
Yes, if you have a “qualifying connection” you may marry here by Banns. The legally defined connections are that one of you:
- was baptised or prepared for confirmation in the parish;
- has ever lived in the parish for six months or more;
- has at any time regularly attended public worship in the parish for six months or more;
- has a parent or parents who lived in the parish for six months or more in your lifetime;
- has a parent or parents who regularly attended public worship here for six months or more in your lifetime;
- has a parent or grandparent who was married in the parish.
… we don’t live in the parish or near enough to worship regularly, but have a link that isn’t a “qualifying connection”?
It may be possible for you to be married by an Archbishop’s Special Licence. You will need to demonstrate a ‘genuine and long-standing connection with the church’. If the Vicar agrees to your being married this way, you will need to apply for the licence from:
The Faculty Office, 1 The Sanctuary, Westminster, London SW1P 3JT
tel: 020 7222 5381
… one of us is not a UK citizen?
If you would otherwise be entitled to marry in the parish you will usually need to apply for a Common Licence. Please check with your own consular authorities that your marriage here will be recognised in your own country. These are always special cases, and we would ask the Diocesan Registrar for advice on your behalf.
… one of us has been divorced?
If either of you has been married before and then divorced from a partner who is still living, then we cannot marry you at St John’s. We understand that many people will find this hard and upsetting, and we will gladly meet with you to explain why we believe that Jesus’ teaching makes this necessary. Each parish minister makes his or her own policy on this, so you will find parishes differ widely.
Can we have our child christened?
This page is to help you concerning a service for your child at St John’s. Congratulations if you have had a recent addition to your family, but don’t worry if the child is older. We hope that you and your family will find a warm welcome here.
The birth of a child is always a special time and many parents, like yourselves, want to mark the occasion with a service in church. We want to help you to do this.
When we are given a gift, it is right to say ‘thank you’. The Bible says, ‘children are a gift from the Lord’ – and so we should thank him for them. Traditionally, parents brought their children to give thanks to God in a special church service. We will be delighted to arrange with you this opportunity to say ‘thank you’ to the Lord – we call this a Thanksgiving Service.
The Thanksgiving Service
The Thanksgiving Service is included within the main morning service at 10am at St John’s.
The Bible says that on one occasion, Jesus ‘took … children in his arms, put his hands on them and blessed them.’ In the Thanksgiving Service, we follow Jesus’ example. We will thank God for your child and ask for his blessing for him or her. You may invite sponsors, and we will give you a certificate to mark the occasion. This service does not require you or the sponsors to make any promises. The service is free, and can be arranged by contacting the Vicar.
What about Christening?
Some parents come to us asking ‘can I have my child christened?’ (or ‘baptised’, which is the same thing). In the Baptism Service, parents and godparents make important promises before God. These include a commitment to regular church-going as an example to your child, and a declaration that you are a committed follower of Jesus Christ yourself. For this reason, you may decide that the Thanksgiving Service is right for you. The promises in a Baptism service mean that it is appropriate that parents are married and are regularly coming to church.
If however, you want to explore the possibility of baptism for your child, we will gladly help you to do this – please have a word with the Vicar after one of the services.
To arrange a Thanksgiving Service, please contact the Vicar or call in at the church office on any Tuesday during term time, 7-7.30pm. On the date agreed for the service, please arrive 10 minutes early.
In the meantime, why not start coming to church if you don’t already? On Sundays you and your family will find a warm welcome at the 10am service at St John’s. We also run a toddler group during the week.