Congratulations on your engagement! If you would like to explore getting married at the Parish Church of St Peter & St Paul, Bassingbourn we would love to help. The first step is to contact the Church Office or alternatively complete the initial application form available to download here and return it to the Church Office.
The Bible often uses the metaphor of marriage to talk about the relationship between God and his people. In fact, one of the most frequently used images for heaven is that of a marriage feast, when God’s people will be brought to perfect union with him. The Church of England marriage service describes marriage as ‘a gift of God in creation’, and talks about three purposes for marriage:
It is given, that as man and woman grow together in love and trust, they shall be united with one another in heart, body and mind, as Christ is united with his bride, the Church.
The gift of marriage brings husband and wife together in the delight and tenderness of bodily union and joyful commitment to the end of their lives.
It is given as the foundation of family life, in which each member of the family, in good times and in bad, may find strength, companionship and comfort, and grow to maturity in love.
The Church refers to marriage as ‘holy matrimony’ because it has long recognised that in the unconditional commitment and faithfulness of the partners in marriage to each other, something of the love and faithfulness of God is made visible. So marriage is both a joyous and a serious undertaking. If you’re wondering if you can marry at Bassingbourn Parish Church some of the information below may help, or please get in touch with the Church Office.
FAQs Who can get married at St Peter & St Paul, Bassingbourn?
If you live in the parish (you can check which parish you live in on the website A Church Near You);
If you attend the Church regularly at least once a month, over a period of six months prior to the date of the marriage. The Vicar will discuss this with you when you meet.
If you are on the electoral roll of the parish (this is a bit like the church membership list. It is different from the register of electors). You can come onto the church’s electoral roll if you are baptized and have been worshipping here regularly for six months;
If you have some other qualifying connection. This may include:
You, or a close member of your family, have worshipped here regularly in the past;
You were baptised here;
Your parents or grandparents were married here;
You or your parents have lived in the parish in the past
Do I have to be baptised to get married in a Church of England church? No: if you qualify to marry here (see above) then it is not essential that you or your partner is baptized. However, the priest officiating at the service will want to talk to you about faith and the spiritual side of marriage, and it is often a good time to explore your own faith.
I’m divorced: can I get remarried in church? We recognise that sometimes things go wrong, irreparably, in relationships. And we also believe in a God who forgives and gives new life. So divorce is not an absolute prohibition to getting married in church but you will need to fill out an additional application form stating why you wish to be married in church. The Vicar will then need to meet with you to talk frankly about the past, your hopes for the future and your understanding of marriage. You will need to be able to produce a decree absolute proving that you are no longer married.
Are there any fees? Some fees are mandatory associated with every wedding in the Church Of England such as those for the publication of banns and the marriage service itself. Others are optional, set by the Parochial Church Council, and depend on whether you want ‘extras’, such as heating, an organist, or bell-ringing. For 2023 the costs are:
Publication of banns: £34.
Marriage service: £505.
Verger support £30 (with PA system:£40)
Heating (if required): £30.
Bell ringing: ~£100.
Can I have the service videoed? Permission needs to be sought before arranging this and an fee will apply.
Can I pick whatever date I want to get married? The Vicar works part-time in the Parish and is only able to conduct weddings on some days due to other commitments. Within those parameters we will try to be as flexible as possible over dates and times, although this depends very much on what else is going on in church.
Getting married elsewhere? If you are getting married at another church but live in Bassingbourn you will need to have your Banns of Marriage read in Bassingbourn as well as in the church where you are to be married.
The charges in 2023 for reading of Banns of Marriage are:
Publication of banns: £34.
Banns certificate £17.
Please download and complete the Banns application and return it to us. We will then be in touch to let you know when the Banns will be read so that you can attend if you wish.