The Church of England is historically arranged into geographical parishes, and as the law currently stands, you are entitled to be married in the church of the parish in which you live. Very few people live in the parish of St Mary-le-Bow; so if you would like to be married here, there are some simple formalities that need to be observed to meet the qualifications in other ways.
+ If you have particular personal or family connections, you may
already qualify to marry here. Alternatively:
+ At least one of you needs to attend services regularly for six months
and may seek inclusion on the Electoral Roll of the Parish Church. It
is usual for one of the parties to have been baptised. There are
plenty of services to choose from at various times of day.
+ Because we don't have Sunday services, we can't publish 'Banns of
Marriage'. Instead, you'll need to swear an oath saying that there's
no reason you shouldn't be married.
+ There are certain fees, some of which are set by the Church of
England for the whole country, and some of which pay for 'optional
extras'. These change from time to time, so please ask us.
+ Professional photography is permitted in the church during
marriage services, by agreement of the Rector. Audio and video
recording (including the use of mobile phones) is not permitted in
the church. Exceptions can be made a minimum of four weeks in
advance by permission of the Rector and Director of Music. Licence
fees to the musicians will apply to any audio or video recording
made of the music in the form of an additional 50% of musicians’
fees for audio recording, and an additional 100% of fees for video
recording (these licence fees are standard for professional
musicians at church services).
+ There is a choice of forms of the Marriage service itself.
To see these texts, click on the links:
+ The Book of Common Prayer (1662)
the oldest, traditional form of service
+ The Prayer Book (Series One, sometimes called 1928)
similar language to 1662 but with revisions
+ Common Worship (2000)
the modern language used in daily services here
More information is also available from the Diocese of London and the Church of England; the latter has launched a new Weddings site.
We are always very pleased to meet people and discuss what's required: please telephone or send an email.