What Are Banns?
Before your wedding, your plans to marry will be announced in church during the main Sunday service. It’s an ancient practice which gives others the opportunity to object to a marriage on legal grounds.
Where Will My Banns Be Read?
Your Banns must be read out before your wedding in the parish where you live and also in the parish where you’re getting married, if that’s somewhere else. If you and your partner live in different parishes, Banns must be read in both.
If you’re getting married at St Mary's Church and both live in the parish we will automatically arrange for your Banns to be read here. If you both live in the parish, you don’t need to do anything else.
If you’re getting married at St Mary's Church but either/both of you live outside the parish, you must ensure that your Banns are also read in your Parish Church. This will need to be arranged with the vicar there. Our vicar will discuss this with you when you meet to talk over your wedding plans.
If you live in the parish but you’re getting married in a church elsewhere, you will need to arrange for your Banns to be read at St Mary's Church. See “How Do I Arrange for My Banns to be Read?” below.
Why Are Banns Important?
Banns are a vital part of the legal side of marriage and it’s important that the correct procedure is followed.
When Will You Read Our Banns?
Banns are read on three Sundays during the three month period before your wedding. This happens during the Notices in our main Sunday service, at 10:00am. If you’d like to come along, we can provide you with the dates when your Banns will be read.
Do We Need to Hear Our Banns Being Read?
No, although many couples – and their families – like to come and hear their Banns read.
How Do I Know Which Parish I live in?
Enter your postcode on the A Church Near You site to find out which Parish you live in.
How Do I Arrange for My Banns to be Read?
If you live in the parish and you’re getting married in a church elsewhere, you’ll need to let us know so that we can read your Banns.
Complete the Wedding Banns Application Form
Download the Banns Application Form. Please complete the form and bring it along when you come for your ID check.
Visit the Parish Office
You will both need to attend a meeting with the Vicar so that we can check your ID. It’s best to make an appointment. During this visit you will need to:
Return Your Form
Bring your completed Wedding Banns Application form.
There are legal aspects to this process which mean you will both need to produce ID. If you want to see what ID you need then please have a look at this document.
Proof of Identity
Valid photo ID such as a passport or if not then other ID will be require such as Birth certificates. Check with the office for more details.
Two Proofs of Proof of Address
Such as a utility bill or bank statement.
Make a Payment
There is a charge for these “Banns”, which includes the certificate. The fee is set centrally by the Church of England and changes each year. Please contact our office for an up-to-date-cost. You can find our account details to make a payment through our DONATE page.
The Banns Certificate
When your Banns have been read, we will issue you with a Banns certificate which you will need to show to the Parish Priest who’s marrying you. You will be able to collect your Banns certificate from the church.