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Marriage in a church or other religious building

Coronavirus: Important information

Please read the following information before progressing:

  • Death registrations: All death registrations are now over the telephone. You will not be required to attend the register office in person. See our death registration guidance page.
  • Marriage and Civil Partnerships: Further to the Prime Minister's announcement on 28 May 2020, there has been no change to the Government's decision to suspend all marriages and civil partnerships until further notice. In England and Wales, legislation does not provide for marriages or civil partnerships to be contracted / formed by telephone, online or by video conference and there are no current plans for this to change. More information will be made available following further government announcements on the Gov.uk marriage and civil partnership website. See our marriage and civil partnerships guidance page.
  • Birth registrations: Unfortunately we are not able to carry out any birth registration appointments until further notice. You can make a claim for child benefit or universal credit prior to the birth being registered. The 42 day requirement to register a birth has been relaxed and no action will be taken if you have not registered within that time frame.
  • Certificates: We are currently running a limited service and are only able to process copy certificate applications that are essential, such as for legal proceedings, job recruitment etc. You should also note that we can only issue a maximum of five certificates per person. Please do not apply for copy certificates for the purposes of family history research at this time. If you require certificates for other purposes, please contact the General Register Office who should be able to supply certificates for you.

Thank you for your understanding at this difficult time.

If you would like a religious marriage ceremony, you can get married in:

  • an Anglican church (Church of England or Church in Wales)
  • any other religious building registered for marriage.

Same sex couples

Marriage

If you are a same sex couple, as the law stands you are unable to be married in an Anglican church.

You can get married in other religious buildings if:

  • the religious organisation allows same sex marriage to take place
  • the premises have been registered for the marriage of same sex couples.

Civil partnership

It is possible for same sex couples to hold a civil partnership ceremony in a religious building that has been licensed by the local authority, but currently there are no religious buildings in Surrey licensed to hold civil partnerships.


Anglican church (Church of England or Church in Wales)

If you want to be married in an Anglican church (Church of England or Church in Wales), you should speak to the vicar of the church to arrange your ceremony date and time; they will also be able to advise you of the process and costs involved.

You do not usually need to give notice of marriage at a register office if you are getting married in an Anglican church and both you and your partner are British, European Economic Area (EEA) or Swiss nationals.

If you or your partner are not British, EEA or Swiss nationals, you will need to give notice of marriage together at a designated register office in England or Wales. The designated register office in Surrey is Weybridge.


Any other religious building registered for marriage

Examples of other religious buildings include Methodist, Baptist, Catholic and Unitarian churches, synagogues, mosques and other places of worship that are registered for marriage.

If you want to marry in a religious building, you should first arrange to see the minister or other person in charge of marriages at the building to arrange your ceremony. However, the church or religious building in question must normally be in the registration district where you or your partner live or be your usual place of worship.

Once you have booked your ceremony with them, each of you must give formal notice of marriage to the superintendent registrar of the district(s) where you live. Please contact us to book an appointment and we will also explain the documents you will need to provide.

Some religious buildings have an authorised person who is responsible for registering marriages there. However, if the building where you are marrying does not have an authorised person or that person is not available, you will need to book a registrar to attend and register the marriage instead. If you require a registrar to register your marriage, please contact us as soon as possible to book their attendance.

It costs £86 for the registrar to attend and register your marriage and certificates are £11 each. Additional certificates purchased after the date of your ceremony will cost more.

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