St. Mary’s Church, Almeley

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Fees, Choir, and Bells

These vary from year to year.  There is a basic fee determined by the Church  of England, enshrined in law, and further fees depending on whether you need a facility such as heating, organist, use of the sound system, and so on.  Please consult the vicar about these, but for guidance the fees for 2016 are here.

We need you to have paid the fees to St Mary’s Treasurer Shirley Tully (cheques made payable to ‘Almeley PCC’) at least two weeks before the date of the service or we will not be able to marry you.



We are glad you have chosen to begin by asking God’s blessing on your life together, and we wish you great happiness.   These notes are designed to tell you about practical matters that you will need to know. 

Getting Married in a church  other than St Mary's.

If you live in the parish of Almeley and you wish to marry in another church you will need the Banns read in Almeley.  To do this please complete a Banns Application Form and return to the vicar Marcus.

Getting married in St Mary’s church

You will need to complete a Marriage Application Form to agree the provisional booking and we shall need you to bring your Birth Certificates (or photocopies) before the booking can be confirmed. For all enquiries about marriage you can contact our vicar Marcus.

Getting married in church after divorce

The Church of England teaches that marriage is for life. It also recognizes that some marriages sadly do fail and, if this should happen, it seeks to be available for all involved. The Church accepts that, in exceptional circumstances, a divorced person may marry again in church during the lifetime of a former spouse.

If you are thinking about asking to be married in church, you should discuss this with Marcus our vicar   Please do this well before choosing a date for your wedding.  A helpful Church of England leaflet on this matter can be found here.


Weddings

Qualifications

 The Bride and Groom must be over 16, and if under  18 you must have written consent of your parents.

 If you meet one of seven other conditions (click here  to see them) you may be married in our church.

Banns

You will need either to have Banns published or to have a Licence (not both). Usually Banns are simpler and need to be called on 3 consecutive Sundays:

(a) in the Church in the benefice in which you are to be married, and

(b) in the Church of the parish in which the other partner lives, if not in this parish.

This must be within three months prior to your wedding. You will need to get the priest of the other parish to give a certificate saying they have been published – this is important and we cannot marry you without it. Please pass this certificate to our vicar, Marcus.

 At St Mary’s Banns are called on three consecutive Sundays within the three months preceding your wedding. We will notify you when so you can come to the service, get a ‘feel’ for the church and what’s going on.

A Licence needs either the Bride or Groom to swear on oath that there is no impediment to their marriage and that residential qualifications exist. To obtain this, please discuss this with the vicar.

The Wedding Service

Traditionally, the bride and groom enter the church separately - the groom first with the best man, and the bride at the time set for the start of the service, on the arm of her father or another relative or friend (it does not need to be a man). However, the bride may enter alone if she wishes, or the couple may enter together.

The vicar will welcome the congregation. Your family and friends have an important role to play as witnesses and supporters of your marriage.

The vicar will read an introduction explaining what Christians believe about marriage. He will also ask, as the law requires, if anyone knows any reason why the marriage may not lawfully take place.

Declarations

You will be asked to promise before God, your friends and your families, that you will love, comfort, honour and protect your partner and be faithful to them as long as you both shall live.

The vicar will also ask the congregation to declare that they will support and uphold your marriage.

Vows

Turning to each other, the bride and groom take each other’s right hand and make vows.

Rings

The couple then exchanges a ring or rings as a 'sign of their marriage' and a reminder of the vows.

Proclamation

The vicar will then declare that you are now husband and wife. The vicar does not 'marry you'; you marry each other. The vicar just directs you in this and then tells everyone that you have done it properly.

Prayers

In the prayers God’s blessing and help is asked for you. There may be a prayer for the gift of children, but every couple will have their own feelings about this, so it's best to discuss the details with the vicar You may wish to help choose the prayers or to write your own.

Readings and talk or sermon

It is usual to have one or more readings (one of which should be from the Bible) and the vicar will generally give a talk or sermon.

Signing of the register

After you have exchanged your vows, the bride, groom and two witnesses must sign the register. This is a legal requirement and the vicar will give you a copy of the marriage certificate.

Video

St Mary’s holds a CCLI licence which permits you to video record weddings, although permission does not extend to any reception following a service, and it does not permit you to record music played from a pre-recorded source during the service, for example when taped music is played when the bride enters, or during the signing of the register.


CCLI advises caution when a professional videographer is involved, since we may not be able to ensure that the terms of our CCL are adhered to.  Their advice is when using a professional photographer, to ask him to get the appropriate licence, which is a Limited Licence (more details and costs at the Performing Rights Society website) which allows almost everything including dubbing music and disco etc at reception.  The cost depends on what you want to do but it can be as little as £7.50 ranging up to £128 for 100 copies of more than 25 minutes of commercial music recorded.

Flowers

St Mary’s church is regularly decorated by a team of flower arrangers.

However, you may wish to have the church decorated especially for your wedding, by yourself, or your own florist.  

Please contact Edna Hughes as early as possible who will explain what church facilities can be provided and used, and what arrangements may be made to bring flowers into the church to decorate it, and what arrangements will need to be made to leave or remove flowers after your happy event.

Parking

As we are in a farming community there are often wide farming vehicles that need to travel along the village roads. We ask, therefore, that you park considerately, especially on the road leading from the church to the old railway bridge.  There are some areas not far from the church where parking is easier, and we ask that you use these if possible, and have a slightly longer walk to the service.  There is a map here which shows areas for parking, areas where there is no parking because the street is too narrow or is needed for large vehicles such as buses and tractors to turn, and residential streets where there is some parking, but please give consideration to the house owners’ access.  Parking at The Bells Inn is by permission of the Landlord, Jason (01544 327 216, thebellsinn@yahoo.co.uk) or why not pay the pub a visit.

Confetti: we are perfectly happy for the use of bio-degradable confetti, but please no metal or other non bi-degradable materials.

Horse drawn carriages: for the safety of the horses we do not allow horses and carriages into the churchyard.

To discuss this further please contact one of the churchwardens.

St Mary’s has a hearing loop and the possibility of playing pre recorded music into the service via the sound system.

To discuss Music (including use of pre-recorded music) or book the choir please contact Di Brain.  

To book bells, please contact John Hope.