News Archive - May 2008
The press recently featured a controversy which has arisen in a village in Surrey over the Rector's insistence that marriages can be conducted in church only where one (or both) of the parties is either resident in the parish or a regular worshipper in the church and on the (church's) Electoral Roll. In this he is simply observing the requirements of English Civil Law, and his bishop has said "You cannot criticize someone for keeping the law".
There have recently been changes in the regulations governing where a civil marriage ceremony can take place, but no change has yet been made in the laws governing church marriages. Changes are proposed which will broaden the qualifying categories, but until the necessary legislation is passed, the requirement remains for a church wedding that at least one party to the marriage must actually live in the parish or be a regular worshipper whose name is on the Electoral Roll. The one exception to this is marriage on the authority of a Special Licence (issued on the authority of the Archbishop), in applying for which an active and long-standing association with the church in question has to be demonstrated.
I hope this clarifies the issue for all parishioners.
-- MALCOLM E. GRANT (Vicar)
Source: Focus, May 2005
Permalink | Comment