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Shirley Parish welcomes all enquiries about weddings. There are three churches in the parish and weddings take place at St James’s.

Once you have decided that a church wedding is for you, there are some things you need to know:

1. You can get married at St James’s if you live in Shirley Parish or have what is known as a qualifying connection with the parish. here examples of a qualifying connection:

a. You have lived in the parish for a period of at least 6 months, or

b. You were baptised (christened) in the parish, or

c. You were confirmed and your confirmation was entered in the register of confirmations for St James, St John’s or Christ the King, or

d. You have at any time regularly gone to normal church services in one of the three churches in the parish for a period of at least 6 months


e. if one of your parents, at any time after you were born:

i. has lived in the parish for a period of at least 6 months, or

ii. has regularly gone to normal church services in the parish church for a period of at least 6 months, or

iii. one of your parents or grandparents was married in the parish


2. A wedding can take place between 8.00 am and 6.00 pm on any day of the week.

3. You need to be at least 16 years of age to marry; though if you’re under 18, you will need your parent’s written consent.

4. If you’re divorced and your previous partner is still living, it is usually possible to marry in church, subject to a small number of requirements, and you will need to show us your Decree Absolute (A Decree Nisi is not acceptable for this purpose)

5. Although civil weddings are now possible between persons of the same sex, the law does not allow such weddings to take place in the Church of England.

6. If you move into the parish, you’re immediately connected to the church there, so you can marry in St James’s. 

7. By attending services in one of our three churches for at least six months

8. If you were baptised, dedicated, confirmed or otherwise accepted into membership of another Christian Church, this does not affect your entitlement to marry in the Church of England.


9. If a person who belongs to a faith tradition other than Christianity, if they otherwise qualify to marry at St James, then the marriage can go ahead, though the wedding will be a Christian service as understood by the Church of England.


10. There a number of fees and charges we have to make.  The fees help us to continue the parish’s work and contribute to the wider Church; the charges vary according to whether you wish for the church bells, the organist, the choir and the verger.


There are some other legal requirements:


1. You will need to produce proof of your identity. This applies to all couples. Details of what qualifies as proof of identity is available from the parish office.

2. You will need to establish your entitlement to marry in church either by banns (we can explain what that means when you make your booking), licence or Superintendent Registrar’s Certificate (SRC).  The law requires that an SRC is obtained by all overseas nationals wishing to marry.


If this looks involved, don’t worry! We are committed to helping everyone who wishes to make this commitment.


If you’re sure you want to go ahead, get in touch. If you're not sure, get in touch.  If we can say yes to your wedding taking place at St James’s, we will.


Please follow this link for further information from the Church of England website:

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