So you are thinking of getting married at St Leonard’s – wonderful and congratulations!
St Leonard’s is an attractive church from the inside. If you are thinking of St Leonard’s as a wedding venue, do come along to one of our Sunday services. To be inside the church, during a service, especially if you have never been, helps you to begin to imagine – is this a place where you would like to make these important vows?
Also attending a church service, where we have church members, organist etc, helps to imagine through the music, the sounds, what the wedding day could be like. It helps you to begin to dream about what is possible or not. Also, if you come along, do introduce yourselves and say who you are – it is nice to meet new people!
Where do you live?
This is an important question. Pretty much if you live between the M54 and the Queensway / Ironbridge By Pass then you live with the Central Telford Parish. Central Telford is one big parish and so it means someone living in Lawley, Lightmoor, Randlay, Brookside, Hollinswood, Dawley, The Rock, Malinslee, etc. is living within the Parish and so can get married at St Leonard’s. There is an addition to this – if you live in Ketley / Redlake, you may also be living in the Parish as for historical reasons, that part of North Telford is in the Central Telford Parish. It is best if you live in
Ketley / Redlake to check if you live in the Parish to make sure. Just drop us a line with your address and we can quickly find out.
If you do not live in the above Central Telford, it may still be possible to marry at St Leonard’s, under something called “Qualifying connection.” A person, if they have a qualifying connection with the Parish, can get married at St Leonard’s. A connection is defined as:
- the person applying was baptised at an Anglican church in the Parish;
- was confirmed at a Church in the Parish, has lived for at least 6 months in the parish, has attended worship regularly (at least twice a month) at a
Church in the Parish.
- or, if the parent of the bride / groom, lived in the Central Telford Parish for at least 6 months, or that parent has attended regularly worship at a
church for at least 6months.
- or a connection exists if the parent or grandparent of the bride / groom, was married in Central Telford Parish.
This can all seem a bit complicated! If you feel you do have a qualifying connection, or perhaps you aren’t sure, do arrange a chat with the rector, who is vicar of
St Leonards (Revd Tim Storey) as the minister needs to agree that such a connection exists, before the wedding can be booked.
Can I get married only on a Saturday?
No. You can get married during any day of the week. However, if you are considering getting married on a weekday or a Sunday it is important you contact the minister before you book any venue or make other plans because the church may not be available on that day due to existing commitments, etc. So it’s best to check.
Yes it is possible to be married at St Leonards. The Christian message, as taught and lived by Jesus Christ, is about new starts and re-starts and a fresh start. The Church of England does give its ministers the freedom to perform a marriage where one or both of the couple have been married before. And many couples where one or both have been married before, have been married at St Leonard’s. As part of the process, the Church of England ask each of its ministers to meet with each couple prior to formally booking a wedding. This is partly a legal requirement – to see and confirm that the legal documents – decrees absolute – have been performed. But more importantly clergy are asked to have a conversation with the couple about the previous
marriage and to get to know one another.
To book is very simple! You do not book a wedding with St Leonard’s. We ask you to go to Wedding Desk – which is run in Meeting Point House (the building opposite Wilkinsons) near Telford Shopping Centre. This desk is manned every first and third Wednesday evening from 6-7pm, in a room on the first floor. All couples who want to book a wedding at any church in Central Telford, including St Leonard’s, go there to book. The Wedding desk have all the paperwork to hand to say which dates and which times are free at St Leonard’s.
You can book as far ahead as you would like. However, if you don’t live in the parish, or have been married before, the wedding desk will ask that you meet with the vicar before they can formally
book in your wedding into the church diary. Also, if you ask to have a wedding on another day of the week – ie not a Saturday – and you have not spoken yet to a minister, they will ask you talk to the minister first.
To book, the couple need to both attend, to come with an idea of dates and times (weddings occur on a Saturday at 11am, 1pm, and 3pm), and to bring a £100 deposit.
Couples also need to bring proof of their current address and also photographic identification. So driving licence, passport etc is fine. Utility bills, mobile phone bills are acceptable as proof of address.
Once paperwork is filled in, date and time agreed, and deposit paid, then the wedding is booked. The final fees for the wedding only need to be paid a month before the wedding – and all monies are paid through the wedding desk.
The Wedding desk will inform a couple of the current costs and of extra costs, such as having a choir involved in the wedding, having bells, or having a person to video record the whole service (for there is a copyright licence needed to be purchased to allow such recording).
The wedding desk will also sort Banns which will be read in both the local church where the couple live and at St Leonard’s, approximately two months
before the wedding. But Wedding desk will confirm exact dates when the couple book.
The vicar will meet up with you at the start of the year when you ‘re planning to get married – if you haven’t already met up – so the couple and the vicar can get to know each other a bit. Then usually, around 2-3 months before the wedding day, the vicar will suggest meeting with the couple to plan the wedding ceremony as well as do some fun (but meaningful!) marriage preparation with the couple. Normally there are two meetings. Also the rehearsal is planned normally for the few days before the wedding but that is always flexible as the vicar and the couple chat when the best rehearsal will be for all concerned.
Also, at any point if a couple wants to chat and meet with the vicar regarding the wedding plans, please do contact the vicar to meet.
Also, as a group of local churches we run a marriage preparation day which is a really useful day to set aside to prepare for your wedding. We look at issues like goals, values, commitment, communication, conflict, etc. A great day for you as a couple to enrich and deepen your relationship. You can find out when they are at the wedding desk.
A great website run by the Church of England which offers lots of information and ideas about possibilities for a church wedding is http//www.churchofengland.org/life-events/weddings .
For more parish-related information go to http://telfordchurch.co.uk/lifeevents/weddings/
We look forward to meeting you!
We hope these notes have given you an idea. Basically if there’s anything you are not sure about or you wonder about, do contact us as a church and we will let you know. It’s best to ask if you have ideas about your special day or any worries!
All the best and maybe see you soon!