Mar 12

Can we be married at Saint Wilfrid's?

In 2008 the legislation which allowed couples to marry changed. To be married here, a couple must be able to answer 'yes' to at least ONE of the following:


  • one of you been baptised or prepared for confirmation in the parish?
  • one of you has ever lived in the parish for six months or more?
  • one of you at any time regularly attended public worship in the parish for six months or more?
  • one of your parents lived in the parish for six months or more in your lifetime?
  • one of your parents regularly attended public worship there for six months or more in your lifetime?
  • one of your parents or grandparents been married in the parish?

(All of these refer to Church of England services)


How do we make a request for a Marriage Service?

Booking the date and time for the wedding is an important first step. Please contact the Parish Administrator to arrange an date. You can download the Wedding Information pack below.

Banns of Marriage

The legal procedures in the Church of England for getting married usually involve the calling of banns. This means that a statement is read out for three consecutive weeks in church stating your names and asking anyone who knows of a legal reason why you should not be married to declare it. The banns are called out in the parish church at Saint Wilfrid's and the priest there will arrange for this to be done and will also tell you when they are to be called. This is usually over the first three Sundays of the month before the wedding is to take place.

If both parties live in different parishes the banns must be read in both. The responsibility for getting them called in another parish is yours, and this will be explained to you.

Banns are valid for only three months. There is a fee for banns being called at another church. You will need to collect a certificate from that parish to say that the banns have been called and you need to present that to the priest who is taking your wedding.

If neither of you live in St Wilfrid's Parish but you worship regularly at Saint Wilfrid's, then you should be on the church electoral roll. Banns are then read at Saint Wilfrid's as well as the churches of the parish(es) in which you live.

Banns are the only legal procedure with which you have to deal and you do not normally have anything to do with the Registrar's office since a priest of the Church of England is an ex-officio registrar. Whilst there are certain particular exceptions to the above rules, they will be explained where applicable.

Parish Procedures

Once you have made the decision to be married at Saint Wilfrid's, you need to complete the attached form giving the details asked. (Replacement/additional forms are available from the Parish Office). It is returning this completed form to the parish office for approval by one of the clergy that "books" the day and date. Within the three-month period before the wedding you should have an interview with the priest who is taking your wedding so you can go through the marriage service with him and discuss details of readings, hymns, music etc. A date then has to be fixed for a rehearsal when others taking part will also be involved. This is usually fixed on a date as close to the wedding day as can be managed and is held in church.

During the period between booking the wedding and the interview, you may have many questions. Whilst we will try to help, please do bear in mind that your service is one of nearly 650 that take place here ever year! We cannot always respond immediately, but we will do out best to help you. If you wish to print an order of service, it is essential that you discuss this with one of the clergy before going to print. You may find that the best time to have a word with the clergy or to speak with the organist or choirmaster is after the parish mass on a Sunday morning.

Contact Details:

  • Parish Administrator Mrs Linda Harrison (Tel: 01423 504629 Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)


Contact the Parish Office for the latest Wedding Pack which contains information about getting married at St Wilfrid Harrogate including fees.