We are delighted that you are interested in being married in church. The Harborough Anglican Team has five churches in its parish, each of which provides a wonderful setting to celebrate your love for one another through the ceremony of marriage.

We will do everything we can to make it a very special day for you, from your first contact with us to your first anniversary and beyond. We’re here for you at every step of the way.

People choose a Church for a
wedding because:

They feel it is the right place to marry
They love the vows
They feel God is there with them
They love the personal touch
They love to feel close to their family,
past and present

In Church weddings you don’t have to:

Promise to obey
Have two rings – one is fine
Marry on a Saturday
Get married in white

You’re welcome to Church for a wedding:

Whatever your beliefs
Whether or not you are Christened

Common Questions


1. How do I book a wedding?

The first step is to get in touch with the Team Administrator, Sue Macdonald:
079778 78094 / 01858 469330 (Office)

Sue is available most mornings (Monday to Saturday inc.) in the Church Office, St. Dionysius Church, High Street, Market Harborough from 10 – 12noon if you wish to discuss your wedding in person with her. She will guide you through the application process and discuss possible dates with you. She can also answer most of the questions you will have about weddings. It is advisable to contact her beforehand to make an appointment.

2. Finding the right Church for you. There are five churches in the Harborough Anglican Team.
These are:

St. Dionysius Church, High Street,
Market Harborough

St. Nicholas Church, Little Bowden

St. Peter & St. Paul Church, Great Bowden

All Saints Church, Lubenham

St. Hugh Church, Northampton Road,
Market Harborough

3. Marriage after Divorce

If you have been married previously, the Team Administrator will send you a form called ‘Marriage in Church after Divorce’. You will then need to make an appointment with the Team Rector and take your completed form along to your meeting with him. We hope the areas listed on the form make good sense to you. However, if you do not wish to discuss any of these then this gives you the opportunity to pull out of the process at this stage. You will also need to take your decree absolute to the meeting.

We hope this meeting is helpful and a sign of how seriously the Church takes your wish to marry. We cannot confirm any bookings for your marriage until the outcome of this meeting is known.

4. Living outside the Harborough Parish

Under the Church of England Marriage Measure 2008 the following are qualifying connections that determine who may marry in one of the Harborough Anglican Team Churches.

If one or both of you:
• have been 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;
• have one of your parents who has lived in the parish for six months or more in your lifetime;
• have one of your parents regularly attended public worship there for six months or more in
your lifetime;

To satisfy the conditions of the Church of England Marriage Measure 2008 you will be asked to complete an initial form ‘Qualifying Connection Statement’ and supply documentary evidence in support of your application. When this form has been completed and the documentary evidence seen and accepted by the Team Administrator, you will then be invited to complete a Wedding Application Form.

5. To be married by Bishop’s / Common License:

A Common Licence is a Bishop’s permission for a marriage to take place in a particular church. In order to qualify for the issue of a Common Licence, either one of the parties to the proposed marriage must have lived in the parish where the marriage is to take place for at least 15 days immediately preceding the date when the application for the Common Licence is made, or else must be on the church electoral roll (Marriage Act 1949) or one of the parties must be able to show a qualifying connection with the church as shown below:
• at least one of you must have been baptised
• the ceremony must take place within three months of the license being listed
• there must be a good reason for requesting a Common License. For example, one party is living abroad, which prevents your banns from being read.
An application for a Common Licence may be made by prior appointment at the office of the Diocesan Registrar in Leicester.

A Common Licence is valid for only three months, and so normally an application for a licence should not be made until within three months of the proposed wedding date. The grant of a licence is discretionary.

Although there is no minimum residence requirement, the Bishop’s/Common Marriage Licence is usually only granted in exceptional circumstances.

No application will be considered unless the minister at the church in question is prepared both to take the marriage service and to support the license application. Once granted, the license is valid for three months. The application fee for the licence is currently £200.

Special Licence

The Archbishop of Canterbury has the right to grant a Special Licence for a marriage to take place. The issue of a Special Licence is discretionary. The most common need for a Special Licence is if the parties wish to be married in a church or chapel of a parish where neither resides or is on the church electoral roll, and where neither can show a qualifying connection under the Church of England Marriage Measure 2008. Once the application has been approved, one of the parties will have to swear an affidavit (a formal statement) to confirm the information given.

6. The Wedding Application Form

The Wedding Application form needs to be completed with your personal details. It is important to make sure that all the information provided is accurate. Should your circumstances change before your wedding (i.e. a change of employment or address) you are required to inform the Team Administrator as soon as possible. All information required is for legal reasons, not solely for
church use.

Once your completed form is received, your wedding will be put in the Team Diary. You will be required to pay a deposit of £50.00 to secure the date (which is returnable should you have to cancel). The Team Administrator will inform you of the name of the Priest taking your wedding, in the autumn of theyear before the wedding.

7. Banns

Banns are announcements in church of your intention to marry and a chance for anyone to put forward a reason why the marriage may not lawfully take place. On these occasions, everyone in your church will also be praying for you. It can be very special and moving, so go along if you can. Banns are read at the main service in the church where you will be married. They are read three times, on three consecutive Sundays in the couple of months before your wedding. We will advise you of the exact dates and times.

If you live in one of the Team Parishes and are marrying at a church elsewhere then it is a legal requirement that your Banns be read at the parish church where you live as well as the church where you are to be married. The current fee for the reading of banns and the issue of a Banns Certificate is £41.

You will need to contact the Team Administrator (see paragraph 1) or by calling in at the Team Office in St. Dionysius Church on Saturday mornings between 10am and 12noon. You will be asked to complete the form ‘Banns of Marriage Application’. It is important to give all the information requested on the form and that it is accurate. Again, should any of the details recorded on this form change before your wedding you are required to inform the Team Administrator as soon as possible. The information on your Banns of Marriage Application is used to record your wedding in the Marriage Registers and therefore must be accurate and complete.

8. Meeting your Vicar

Your Vicar will invite you to two or three meetings before your wedding to plan arrangements for the day itself and to help prepare you for married
life together.

These meetings provide time and space to think about the vows and the difference they will make to your life together.

9. Your requirements

The Team Administrator will guide you through the process and discuss your requirements and ideas for music, bells etc to make sure the service runs smoothly.

Should you wish to make a video of your wedding service you must sign a Video Licence Agreement and pay a fee of £15 to cover copyright and performance rights.

10. On the day

Near your wedding day, perhaps a day or two before, you will have the opportunity to rehearse the ceremony with all those involved.

On the day itself, your Vicar will do all he or she
can to make the service a personal, meaningful and spiritual experience for you and your guests.

11. The Future

The Church would be delighted to mark your first anniversary by praying for you both. You only have
to ask.