A wedding is one of life’s great moments, a time of solemn commitment as well as good wishes, feasting and joy. St. John tells us how Jesus shared in such an occasion at Cana, and gave there a sign of new beginnings as he turned water into wine.
Marriage is intended by God to be a creative relationship, as his blessing enables husband and wife to love and support each other
in good times and in bad, and to share in the care and upbringing of children.
For Christians, marriage is also an invitation to share life together in the spirit of Jesus Christ. It is based upon a solemn, public and life-long covenant between a man and a woman, declared and celebrated in the presence of God and before witnesses.
“Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful,
– it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. “
(1 Corinthians 1. 4-7)
Can I get married in Church?
We would love to welcome you to St. James for your wedding.
There are two qualifications that entitle you to be married in your Parish Church:
At least one of you must live in the parish or be a member of the church.
There is no automatic right to entitle you to be married if either of you is divorced, but the church does consider each enquiry individually: please speak to the Vicar in the first instance – see below.
How To Go About Organising Your Wedding
First you should arrange an initial discussion with the Associate Priest, Father Peter Walsh
At an intial meeting, an application form will be completed and various arrangements discussed with you. This will normally take about an hour.
There will be further meetings to discuss preparation for the wedding. There will also be a wedding rehearsal on the week of the wedding.
Associate Priest Father Peter Walsh
Director of Music Paul Buckmaster
Banns of Marriage
There is a legal requirement to declare your intention of marrying. This is done by having the Banns of Marriage read in your Parish Church on three consecutive Sundays within three months of the wedding. Normally, to be married in the Church of England, banns are read in the parish churches of both partners.
If you both live in the parish of Stalmine, the banns need only be read at St James Church. The Vicar will arrange for the banns to be read on dates that are convenient for you. You may like to attend these three services. If one of you lives in another parish, the banns must also be read in that parish.
The Vicar will help you identify the other parish, and who to contact so you can arrange for the banns to be read in that parish church. There is a fee to pay for the banns to be read in the other church. Once read, you must get a Banns Certificate from the Vicar of the other parish. This is a legal requirement.
Planning the Service
At the initial meeting, you will discuss various plans for the wedding service. A typical order of service may be as follows:
Ceremony, with Bible reading, and short talk
Signing the Marriage Register
The service normally lasts for about forty five minutes
You can choose your own hymns for the service. Normally, there are two or three hymns. You can also choose the music played as the bride comes into church, and when you leave the church together at the end of the service. The Director of Music is always happy to help you choose appropriate music for your wedding. If you like, the church choir can be invited to sing at your wedding.
Some Suggested Wedding Hymns
All people that on earth do dwell All things bright and beautiful
Angel voices ever singing Be thou my vision, O Lord of my heart
Christ is made the sure foundation Come down, O love divine
Dear Lord and Father of mankind Father hear the prayer we offer
For the beauty of the earth King of glory, king of peace
Guide me O thou great Redeemer Holy, holy, holy, holy
Immortal, invisible God only wise Jesus, good above all other
Glorious things of thee are spoken Lord of all Hopefulness
Love divine, all loves excelling Morning has broken
Make me a channel of your peace Now thank we all our God
What a friend we have in Jesus O perfect love
O Jesus I have promised O praise ye the Lord
O thou who camest from above This is the day
Thine for ever, God of Love The Lord’s my shepherd
Praise my soul the king of heaven Soldiers of Christ arise
Praise to the Lord, the Almighty The King of love my Shepherd is
Seek ye first the kingdom of God We pledge to one another
Suggested Organ Music
Bridal March – Wagner
Recessional (Leaving) Wedding March – Mendelssohn
Choosing your Bible Reading
You may also choose the Bible Reading used in your wedding service. The Parish Priest will assist you if necessary.
The signing of the register.
During the signing of the register the organist will normally play quietly in the background, or the choir can sing appropriate short anthems. Two witnesses must witness your signatures and sign the registers themselves. The witnesses must be aged 18 or over. Often the Chief Bridesmaid and Best Man act as witnesses. At the service, you will be given your Wedding Certificate which you will have just signed. This is an important legal document which you need to take care of.
Printed Order of Service
If you wish to arrange with a printer for an order of service booklet to be produced, you will need to agree the words to be printed with the Marriage Preparation Team. Make sure you have enough copies of your order of service for your guests, for the priest, organist and verger, and for any well-wishers who may attend the wedding ceremony but not the reception.
A wedding is a solemn and important religious occasion, and as such, we ask that no photographs and videos are taken during the service as some people find it distracting. However, photographs/videos are allowed before the service starts, as the bride processes up the aisle, during the signing of the register, and as the couple proceed down the aisle together. Please discuss this with the Vicar.
If you wish to use your own florist for in church flower arrangements, please discuss the plans with our own flower arranger. The Vicar will let you know who this is for your wedding at the initial meeting.
This will normally take place in church on the week of the wedding. The total fee for the wedding should be paid at the rehearsal. This is usually attended by the bride and groom, the best man, the bride’s father (or whoever is giving the bride away), the bridesmaids and anyone else who will be taking part in the service, e.g reader, musicians etc. The rehearsal is to reassure you if you are nervous – not to make you more nervous! Don’t worry if you forget everything the priest tells you at the rehearsal. He/she will guide you through the service on your Big Day. You need only remember to turn up on time and bring the ring or rings with you!
The Wedding Day
The groom and best man should arrive about 30 minutes before the wedding. This gives time for photographs and to check the registers. The bride should plan to arrive about 7-8 minutes before the start of the service. This gives the photographer sufficient time for photographs. The bride will then be ready to come up the aisle on time!
Format of the Modern Service
The minister says to the bridegroom
N, will you take N. to be your wife? Will you love her, comfort her, honour and protect her, and, forsaking all others, be faithful to her as long as you both shall live?
He answers I will.
The minister says to the bride
N, will you take N. to be your husband? Will you love him, comfort him, honour and protect him, and, forsaking all others, be faithful to him as long as you both shall live?
She answers I will.
The minister says to the congregation
Will you, the family and friends of …. and …. support and uphold them in their marriage now and in the years to come?
They answer We will.
The minister may symbolically receive the bride from her father.
I, N, take you, N,
They loose hands.
I, N, take you, N,
They loose hands.
Heavenly Father, by your blessing, let these rings be to N and N a symbol of unending love and faithfulness, to remind them of the vow and covenant which they have made this day; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
The bridegroom places the ring on the fourth finger of the bride’s left hand, and holding it there, says
I give you this ring
If rings are exchanged, they loose hands and the bride places a ring
on the fourth finger of the bridegroom’s left hand, and holding it there, says …
I give you this ring
(If only one ring is used, before they loose hands the bride says
I receive this ring
A wedding prayer
Heavenly Father, we offer you our souls and bodies, our thoughts and words and deeds, our love for one another.
1. Can I get married in the parish where my parents live and where I grew up?
Yes. In simple terms, you must reside for a period of fifteen consecutive days in the parish (stay with your parents/relatives, friends).
The Marriage Preparation Team will advise you of the details.
2. Can I get married where I grew up, although neither I nor my parents live there any more?
Yes, if the conditions outlined above are fulfilled and the priest agrees.
3. When can I get married in Church?
Weddings can be conducted at the church on most Saturdays. Weddings can also be arranged on week-days, and under special circumstances
4. How much does it cost (2022)?
Wedding service: £480
Publication of Banns: £32
Certificate of Banns: £16
Additional Banns & Banns Certificate (payable to the church where the Banns are read.): £48
If you do not live in the parish where your wedding is to take place, additional Banns of Marriage must be read in the parish church nearest to where you reside.
After the Banns have been read on three consecutive Sundays, a Certificate will be issued that you must give to the Vicar of the church where you will be married.
If you would like the Choir or Music Group, the Church to provide flowers, or the use of the church extension, please discuss your requirements with the Minister. There will be additional charges.
The above photographs were taken during / after the marriage ceremony of Alexander Fleming and Caroline Wolstenholme, on 21st June 2014.
From the mother of the bride:
I was so thrilled when Cari and Alex chose to marry at St. James’. After all, it is our family church where she was both baptised and confirmed.
It is like a second home to us all and we always feel part of the church family. Everyone was so helpful, both at the planning stage and on the day of the wedding.
The church looked beautiful when dressed with flowers, candles and ivy and the service was conducted with reverence but was also relaxed
with a few light-hearted quips from our very personable curate, Dyllis. All in all, a superb marriage service in a lovely setting that led the way on a wonderful day.
From the father of the bride:
St James is a lovely venue for a wedding, all the officials are warm, friendly, helpful and welcoming, the church is well presented inside and out,
the latter really good for photograph options. It made the day so special and enjoyable!