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Archived News - Marriage

The Law and Where You get Married

This article was published in May 2008. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

The press recently featured a controversy which has arisen in a village in Surrey over the Rector's insistence that marriages can be conducted in church only where one (or both) of the parties is either resident in the parish or a regular worshipper in the church and on the (church's) Electoral Roll. In this he is simply observing the requirements of English Civil Law, and his bishop has said "You cannot criticize someone for keeping the law".

There have recently been changes in the regulations governing where a civil marriage ceremony can take place, but no change has yet been made in the laws governing church marriages. Changes are proposed which will broaden the qualifying categories, but until the necessary legislation is passed, the requirement remains for a church wedding that at least one party to the marriage must actually live in the parish or be a regular worshipper whose name is on the Electoral Roll. The one exception to this is marriage on the authority of a Special Licence (issued on the authority of the Archbishop), in applying for which an active and long-standing association with the church in question has to be demonstrated.

I hope this clarifies the issue for all parishioners.


Source: Focus, May 2008

MP's bid to save marriage

This article was published in January 2007. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

South West Beds MP Andrew Selous will be in Eaton Bray on Friday evening delivering a talk about a local trust that aims to strengthen marriages and family relationships.

He'll be talking about the South Bedfordshire Community Family Trust, a voluntary group that he was involved in setting up.

Mr Selous said: "As a rough rule of thumb, I find that in my constituency surgeries about three or four of every constituency cases brought to me have relationship breakdown as the cause, whether the issue brought to me is about benefits, the Child Support Agency, housing or health.

"There is increasing evidence from around the UK and other parts of the world that programmes to help support and equip people to make a success of their marriages and family relationships are beginning to have an impact.

Mr Selous' talk will be to Eaton Bray Churches Together at 7.30pm at Eaton Bray Methodist Church.

Source: Dunstable Gazette, 17 January 2007