Wedding Information for Frensham
We are delighted to know that you are considering being married at the Church of St Mary the Virgin. If you wish your wedding to take place at Frensham you will need to fulfil the Church of England requirements for Parochial Church weddings (see below). If this is the case we will need to plan the service with you and help you to prepare for the occasion.
Revd Jane Walker has put down her thoughts on Christian marriage which you can read here.
Church of England Requirements
Before we can conduct a wedding at the Church of St Mary the Virgin we need to be satisfied:
That one of you:
lives within the parish of Frensham or has at any time lived in the parish for a period of at least 6 months or
was baptised in the parish
was prepared for confirmation in the parish or
has at any time regularly gone to normal church services in one of the two churches 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 one of the two churches for a period of at least 6 months or
That one of your parents or grandparents:
was married in the parish or
is buried in the Church graveyard
That there are exceptional circumstances for you being married in Frensham, ie. you attended St Mary's Church of England (Aided) Infant school, Edgeborough Preparatory School and More House School.
If you believe you satisfy the requirements and would like us to be involved in celebrating your marriage, please complete the Wedding Request Form.
What You Need To Do and When
2. An initial meeting will then be arranged with yourselves and the Vicar to confirm the time and date, and to ensure that a Priest is available to conduct the wedding and that it doesn't clash with prior bookings for the church. Do not confirm your reception bookings or have relatives book flights, etc until the date and time have been agreed.
At this time you will also be asked to complete a Banns form. This is a formal request for information about each of you which includes information on your names, ages, nationality, occupations, fathers' names and occupations, etc. It asks whether you have ever been married or baptised, and in the latter case where the baptism took place. You will need to provide this information. It is a formal requirement to see your passports. Please could you photocopy the information page and bring it to the initial meeting.
3. If either of you is not a British citizen/subject, you will be required to obtain a Common Licence permitting the marriage to take place, provided one of you has a qualifying connection to the Benefice of Frensham. In exceptional circumstances if neither of you have a qualifying connection, then a Special Licence is required from the Diocesan Registrar in London. This is a legal requirement and is in place of the reading of the Banns (see below). You will be advised how to proceed with this, if necessary.
4. If either of you lives outside the Benefice of Frensham you will need to complete a Banns form for the Vicar of the parish in which you reside. Your marriage cannot take place without a certificate from that Vicar saying your Banns have been read on three consecutive Sundays in his/her church.
5. Your intention to be married is announced in church (the reading of the Banns) on three consecutive Sundays during the three-month period before your wedding. It is requested that you attend Church on at least two out of three Sundays when your Banns are read.
6. You will be invited to the marriage preparation day, given for all wedding couples, where the Vicar will discuss aspects of the marriage relationship and what marriage could mean for you. For your wedding service you will be able to choose hymns or songs (usually 3) and a Bible reading and any other readings. The Vicar will help you understand the order of events on the wedding day, the content of the ceremony and the depth of meaning of this holy sacrament. After this, you can prepare your order of service, but it is requested that a draft be agreed by the Vicar and the Organist before printing. Ideally, this should happen at least three months before the wedding. Click here to download a draft Order of Service
7. The wedding rehearsal will be the evening before your wedding day at 6pm. It is helpful if other members of the bridal party are present for this rehearsal (ie. best man, bridesmaids, 2 witnesses, whoever is giving the bride away, anyone doing a reading, ushers, photographer if able). Please bring your orders of service.
8. On the day itself, you may well be nervous; this is quite normal! Hopefully, we will have set your anxieties about the service at rest and you can enjoy the occasion. You need not worry that you will forget what to do since we and your attendants will guide you through each part.
The signing of the Marriage Document takes place after the Marriage Right and is an essential part of the legal requirements. This takes place in view of the congregation. You will require two witnesses who must be adults.
Photography, Music, Flowers
What it Costs (2023)
There are standard fees which are payable for the use of the church, the reading of the Banns, the clergyman's time, the organist, choir and the verger's skills. The list of costs can be downloaded here.
If any of your guests need wheelchair access, this is available via the Church Hall entrance behind the bell tower at the West side of the church.
Photography Policy for Weddings
IMPORTANT: We ask that all marriage couples give the following information to their photographer and videographer (if applicable).
Marriage is a sacrament of worship and therefore we would ask that all photographers respect the holiness of this occasion. The holiest moment is when the couple join their hands and say their vows and when the rings are exchanged, therefore we insist that photography does not occur during the saying of the marriage vows and during the time of the giving and receiving of rings. The Vicar will allow a photograph to be taken when you have just joined hands and then the next photograph will be when your marriage is proclaimed and the groom kisses the bride. Photographs may be taken on the arrival of the bride, the procession, during hymns and readings and following the official signing of the register. Please do not use flash photography and we ask that you click with consideration!
With regard to videoing we would ask that this is not intrusive. Please note there are extra charges due to copyright law in this regard. Please discuss with the Vicar.
We will send you information about the specific requirements for wedding flowers in St. Mary's, when your wedding date is confirmed.
We are privileged to have a beautiful 13th century Grade II* listed building, which we want to preserve for generations to come. For this reason we have found it necessary to draw up the following guidelines which we hope will be helpful to you. The Vicar together with the Parochial Church Council (PCC) have agreed that the following places in the Church may be decorated:-
All window sills
One pedestal behind and to the left of the altar, or the pair of candlesticks.
A pedestal in front of the pillar in the centre of the church facing the south door, at the crossing opposite the entrance.
Pew Ends (no tape, tacks or nails, etc. to be used).
Any flowers decorating the porch outside must be attached to existing nails. NO MORE NAILS TO BE ADDED.
Due to damage in the past no decorations may be placed on the following: pulpit, font, lectern or altar rails within the church, nor over the gates outside the church.
Regarding floral arrangements on the pillars, these need to be on top of the pillars but safely secured with string, not wire, nails or any other fixing that may damage the stonework.
N.B. Following the wedding, all flowers must be removed except the pedestal to the left of the altar or the pair of candlesticks, which we respectfully request you to leave. There will be a charge of £75 if this does not happen or if there is damage to the church fabric.
Thank you in advance for your co-operation. We wish you a very happy wedding day!
Music for Weddings
The information here is intended to help you plan the music for your wedding in St Mary’s.
You must contact our organist, Mike Smith, to discuss the music for your wedding. Most couples arrange a meeting with Mike to discuss the music after a 10.30 morning service.
Please click here to find a list of suggested organ music recorded by Mike.
If you wish to have music that is not listed, speak to Mike and he will do his best to arrange it.
St Mary’s Church is fortunate to have an excellent choir. If you would like the choir to sing at your service, there is also a list of suggestions for choral music.
You may not know some of the music listed and want Mike to play/sing it to you at the meeting - most couples reach an amicable decision fairly quickly!
If you would like a trumpeter to play for entrance and/or exit music, this may be possible. You should speak to Mike as soon as possible.
Remember, this is your day and we will do our best to see that you get what you would like.
Flowers in Church
We have a talented team of flower arrangers who decorate our churches every week. If you would like to join the team, please contact Lynda Newman (01252 793916).
Hall Bookings - 1
If you wish to hire the Hall, the cost is £15 per hour for regular bookings. For one-off occasions such as a wedding, funeral, or other gathering we ask for a donation.