Registering a Place of Worship and Marriage - Support to the Clergy and Authorised Persons
- Change to a schedule system
- Registering a building of worship
- Registering a place of marriage
- Become an Authorised Person
- Support to the Clergy and Authorised Persons
The Government purposes to replace Certificates for Marriage (The Blues) and Marriage Registers with Schedules from a date to be confirmed in December 2019. Whilst details are still to be finalised, it is expected that:
- Existing marriage registers will be closed with one copy retained by the authorised person and the other returned to the register office
- 28 / 70 days after a couple have given notice of marriage a Schedule is issued (A4 piece of paper with details of the marriage) rather than the two Certificates for Marriage as are issued now
- The couple or the Authorised person collects the Schedule from the register office in the area of marriage
- During the marriage ceremony the couple sign the Schedule in front of their witnesses
- The Schedule is returned by the couple to the register office in the area of marriage within seven days of the ceremony taking place
- The register office registers the marriage on the national registration system
- The couple order any marriage certificates that they require from the register office and not from the authorised person
Marriage certificates will be A4 and printed and will not normally be issued at the time of the ceremony. A marriage certificate will only be issued once the register office has registered the ceremony on the national computer system. Couples should exercise caution if they wish to travel under a new married name immediately after a wedding ceremony.
Please visit our Marriages and Civil Partnerships page for more information. The information will be updated as the Government makes things clearer. Please take this information as a guide only, as everything is subject to change. Exact arrangements for the Church of England are to be confirmed.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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