St Mary and St Margaret Church


St Mary and St Margaret is a popular venue for weddings. While the 2008 marriage regulations make it easier for those living outside the parish to be married here if they have a “qualifying connection,” that is some linkage with the parish through baptism, attendance at some time, or a family linkage, other couples will have to become members of the church by joining the Electoral Roll and attending regularly for a qualifying period of 6 months.

For further information look at, “the Law and Marriage” below. Some of this is quite complex so why not speak to the Rector (0121 730 2801) or come to our  “walk in clinic” for weddings and baptisms held by our Pastoral Services Co-ordinator at the church on Saturday mornings 10.00-11.00 am for further details and provisional bookings.


The Church of England Marriage Measure came into force on 1 October 2008 to allow couples the opportunity to marry in a church which has special significance for them, even though it is not where they live, without applying for a Special Licence (see below). This means that an engaged couple are welcome to be married in St Mary and St Margret (without being entered on the Electoral Roll)  if just one of the following conditions applies: 
  • One of you was baptised in the parish; or
  • One of you has been confirmed and the confirmation has been entered in a church register book belonging to the parish, (this would have been done on the basis that the person concerned was prepared for confirmation in the parish); or
  • One of you has lived in the parish for 6 months or more.
  • One of you has at any time habitually attended public worship in the parish for at least 6 months;
  • One of your parents has lived in the parish for 6 months or more in your lifetime.
  • One of your parents has regularly attended public worship in the parish for 6 months or more in your lifetime.
  • Or your parents or grandparents were married in the parish.
a. Banns.  If the requirements are satisfied Banns can be called using that Church as the home parish for the person with the Qualifying Connection.  
b.  Licence. A Bishop’s Licence (Common Licence) can be issued on the same basis.

(1)        The onus is on you to provide the evidence to satisfy the clergy of the qualifying connection.  It is not the clergy’s responsibility nor that of the Diocesan Registry to assemble the evidence

(2)        If a “qualifying connection” is to be used to obtain a Bishop’s Licence then the evidence must be presented to the Diocesan Registry together with an Affidavit sworn on Oath that the contents are true and correct. 

The Law and Marriage  

1.         The Church of England Parish system exists to provide pastoral care for those living within the Parish. It is assumed that people will get married in their local Parish Church thus one of the parties must either be resident in the Parish or be on the Electoral Roll. The latter means they could live outside the Parish but as regular attenders on the Electoral Roll they are entitled to be married in that church. Regular attendance means attending church a minimum of once per month for 6 months prior to the wedding.  

2.         At present there are 3 ways of getting married in Church: (1) Marriage by Banns; (2) Bishops Common Licence; (3) Superintendent Registrar’s Certificate without Licence.

3.         The church must be in the parish in which: one of the parties [1]resides, or is on the church electoral roll. Banns are called in home Parishes. If the marriage is in the parish in which one of the persons is on the electoral roll banns are called in all 3 parishes ( ie, home parish of each person and the parish where being married)   Summary: one party resident or one party on electoral roll.  

4.         This avoids necessity of banns and is issued by Diocesan Registrar on Bishop’s behalf. The church must be in the parish in which one of the persons has been resident in the parish for 15 days immediately before the grant of the licence or is on the church electoral roll. One of the people must be baptized and one must swear an oath before a Surrogate or a Registrar. There is a Diocesan fee. Common licences are not  issued if one of you is a divorcee with a former spouse still living.  

5.         Ministers may, at their discretion, accept a SRC. Preliminaries (legal requirements) are dealt with by Superintendent Registrar of the civil registration district. One of the parties must have resided for 7 days within the registration district and the parish where marriage is to take place or the church is the usual place of worship for one or both. Fifteen days notice of marriage is displayed in the Registrar’s Office.    

Wedding enquiries & bookings can be made through our Pastoral Services Co-ordinator Shirley at the church on Saturday mornings 1000-1045am.

There will be no Wedding enquiry drop in service on Saturday 10th August.

[1] Resides =a physical presence and occupation of a premises as a home.

Wedding Music
Below is a list of music which is regularly chosen for weddings; some of which our choir sang while the organist played at the wedding fayre in 2018. download pdf Wedding Music