Registering a Place of Worship and Marriage - Support to the Clergy and Authorised Persons

Registering a building of worship

Under the provision of the Places of Worship Registration Act 1855, a congregation may apply for a certified building of worship by applying to the Superintendent Registrar in the district where the venue is situated. This excludes churches or chapels of the Church of England, unless it shares a church building with another religious denomination.

The person who acts as 'minister', 'proprietor' or 'Trustee' at the place of worship has to complete in duplicate two copies of form 76 (form for certifying a place of meeting for religious worship under the places of worship registration act 1855). Completed Form 76 should be sent to the register office with a sketch of the floor plan identifying which rooms will be used for worship, an average weekly timetable of how the building.

Please provide a contact telephone number so that we can collect the £29 statutory fee from you.

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Registering a place of marriage

If the congregation wish the place of worship to become a place where marriages can take place, they need to complete Form 78 (certificate and application for the registration of a place of religious worship for the solemnisation of marriages under sec. 41 of the marriage act 1949). This should be dealt with if possible together with the original application of a place of worship. However, it can only be requested after the date of certification of the building as a place of worship.

Form 78 requires signatures of 20 separate householders who say that the building is their usual place of worship and that they desire it to be registered for the solemnisation of marriages. A statutory fee of £123 is payable - please provide a contact telephone number when you submit your application so that we can collect payment.

Once the information is received at the Register Office, it is sent to the General Register Office (GRO) for authorisation. Once the GRO certify a building for worship and marriage, the Register Office are required to advertise the new place of worship in the local newspaper. We then write to the applicant confirming the place is now registered for worship and marriage and send a certificate.

If the place of worship is in disuse or another minister/proprietor takes over the place of worship, Form 77 (notice of disuse of a certified place of meeting for religious worship, pursuant to the places of worship registration act 1855.) needs to be completed and given to the Registrar General. The process outlined above for registering a place of worship would have to be completed again. Re-registration is not required if the building is demolished and rebuilt.

Please contact us on 020 8489 1775 for further information on this service.

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Become an Authorised Person

For the first year after a religious building has been licensed for marriage, a registrar from the Register Office must attend to register any marriages that take place. The availability of registrars is very limited and this restricts the options over what time and date weddings can take place.

After one year of being licensed for marriage, a church or other religious building can apply to have its own registrars known as Authorised Persons.

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Support to the Clergy and Authorised Persons

The General Register Office (GRO) is able to provide support to the Clergy and to Authorised Persons. GRO can be contacted on 0300 123 1837. A helpful guide for Authorised Persons has been put together by GRO and it is called A Guide For Authorised Persons (external link).

Newsletters for the Clergy, Synagogues and Authorised Persons can be found on GOV.UK:

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Page last updated:

January 6, 2023

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