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Written by Paul Cudby   
Tuesday, 19 October 2010 16:17

Marriage is such a joyful occasion when two people are joined together by God to become one at a public occasion where families and friends can take part and share in the couple's happiness. Unlike most secular institutions the church wants to support and prepare the couple for all the changes that marriage will bring and to that end, in addition to conversations with the vicar, we have a marriage preparation day on the first Saturday of March each year. We highly recommend every couple to attend since the day will help prepare them not just for their wedding day but for some of the challenges they can expect in the first, foundational, years of marriage. We want your marriages to be strong and life-giving and we know from our own experience that this takes work. At the marriage preparation day we will share our experiences with you as we help you to share them with each other. All this and lunch too!!

So who can get married in Tanworth church?

In 2008 the law was relaxed a little so that a wider range of people who felt linked to a church could be married there. The basic legal situation is as follows:

You are eligible to married at Tanworth if you can tick any one of the following boxes:

That one of you:

has at any time lived in the parish (which is basically Tanworth in Arden and Earlswood south of Valley Road - if you're unsure ask us) for a period of at least 6 months or

was baptised in the church or

was prepared for confirmation here or

has at any time regularly gone to normal church services in the parish church for a period of at least 6 months or

That 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


That one of your parents or grandparents:

was married in the parish

You can see that this is quite a wide spread. If it has been some time since you lived here you may be asked to provide some form of proof or confirming letter. If you cannot fulfil any of the criteria Don't Panic! If you begin coming regularly, after six months you become legally eligible to be married here. It's unlikely that we'll be able to accommodate you if you have already booked your reception and have had no previous contact with us since that falls outside the scope of the law, but if you are willing to become part of the church family, after six months we can talk about dates.

What if one or both of us has been divorced?

Please feel free to come and talk to the vicar. We believe in forgiveness and second chances and many of us have known the pain of broken marriage and the hope that a new relationship can bring. A few years ago the law was relaxed to give vicars more freedom to marry couples where one or other partner has been divorced. This is a matter of the beliefs of the vicar and no vicar is obliged to marry a divorcee even if they can tick one of the above boxes. That means that at some churches you may not be allowed to marry. Our policy here is to meet every couple and to hear your story.

Couples planning their weddings at St Mary Magdalene can download a template order of service which they can fill in and edit as appropriate. The template is in old-school Word .doc format in the interests of compatibility!

You can save or download it by clicking this link: Wedding OOS

Last Updated on Thursday, 26 July 2018 09:56