- Oaks Farm House
- Holton St Mary
- CO7 6NW
WELCOME TO OUR WEDDING SITE
We love having weddings in our four beautiful churches, and are thrilled that couples continue to pick our churches to celebrate the greatest day of their lives.
Under the 2008 Marriage Measure, it is now possible for anyone to be married in our churches provided they can satisfy certain requirements (see 'Legalities', below). So, the first thing to do when you get engaged and are looking around for a church, is to phone the Benefice Administator (Mrs Frances Torringon) on 01473 312046 to express an interest and to book a possible date. She will then arrange a first meeting with you to discuss practicalities. She will give you a copy of the marriage service and tell you about possible readings, music and hymns etc. We will then book a second meeting to talk about the service and write a draft order of service.
You should also take a look at the Church of England's wedding website (www.yourchurchwedding.org), which is extremely helpful in guiding you through everything you will need to think about in planning your wedding.
Three of our churches (Higham, Holton St Mary and Raydon) can seat in the region of 120; Stratford St Mary can seat up to 250 if required. Higham, Raydon and Stratford St Mary have toilet facilities if that is a consideration, but the Village Hall in Holton St Mary is just across the road from the church and can be booked separately if necessary, or you could hire a portaloo for the day
Above all, we want you to have a very special day, and will do our best to ensure that that happens if you choose to be married here.
If you have a 'qualifying connection' with one of our villages, you have the right to be married in any of our four churches, whether or not you currently live in one of our villages. These connections are:
- If one of you: has at any time lived in the parish for a period of at least 6 months, or was baptised in the parish concerned, or was prepared for confirmation in the parish
- If one of your parents, at any time after you were born: has lived in the parish for a period of at least 6 months, or has regularly gone to normal church services in the parish church for a period of at least 6 months
- If one of your parents or grandparents was married in the parish
If one or both of you have at least one of these connections, we will be able to call your 'banns' in our parish churches to satisfy the legal aspects of your marriage. The one who does not have the qualifying connection will also need to have their banns read in the parish church nearest to where you live.
Alternatively, if you live near enough to our villages, you may choose to attend our churches on a regular basis (once a month or more) for six months before your proposed wedding day, and that enables us to call your banns here without any other administration being necessary. This is probably the simplest way to ensure that you can be married in one of our churches if you don't have any of the 'qualifying connections' listed above.
If one of you is an EU national, then you will need to obtain a Common Licence. It is granted in the name of the Bishop, and he has discretion whether or not to grant it. In order to obtain such a Licence, one of you must have had his or her usual residence within the parish or district of the church in which the marriage is to due to take place for fifteen days immediately preceding the application. Common Licences can only be granted for marriages to take place within the Diocese, and are only valid for three months. The fee for a Common Licence will be around £200. If this is relevant to your particular situation, speak to the Rector about it, and she will tell you how to set about obtaining a Licence.
If one of you comes from outside the EU, you will need to obtain a Superintendent Registrar’s Certificate. This involves the publication of a notice at the Register Office of Ipswich, and the residence requirements are in effect the same as for banns. For further information on this route, contact: The Register Office, St Peter's House, 16 Grimwade Street, Ipswich, Suffolk, IP4 1LP Telephone: 01473 583050 Fax: 01473 584331 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
We are also happy to have wedding blessings in our churches if your wedding took place in a registry office or abroad. Again, please telephone the Rector for further information.
Please note that at present the Church of England does not permit same-sex couples to be married in its churches.
In 2019 the basic cost is £485, and you will need to add on extra charges for:
- an organist - £75
- bells if appropriate - £100
- heating and lighting if needed - £50
- a wedding candle if you want one - £20
- flowers - up to you to arrange
- photographer - up to you to arrange