If you are reading this because you are planning to marry, then congratulations.
For many couples these days, marriage is seen not as a necessity for a long term relationship, but an optional add-on: A reason for a party and a get-together with friends and family. For Catholics, however, marriage is much more than this. It's not merely an excuse for a party; not merely a civil contract but a covenant between a man and a woman before God. If both are baptised, the marriage is a sacrament, a symbol of the unity of Christ and the Church. A sacramental marriage is a means of grace, giving strength to the husband and wife to live out their commitment, and to help each on the path to holiness.
Because marriage is so important, couples who are preparing to marry will normally undertake a process of marriage preparation with a priest or deacon. This provides a time to reflect on the Christian understanding of marriage and to appreciate the commitment that is being undertaken.
In particular, couples will come to understand the Church's teaching that marriage is a life-long commitment, is faithful and exclusive, and is open to having children.
We recommend that you now click the link here and read the content that you find there under ‘Marriage’ and watch the videos. When you have both read and watched (ideally together), please make contact with us.
Canon Michael Fitzpatrick 01722 333581
Deacon John Proctor 01722 340206
In order that adequate preparation can be arranged, you should speak to one of our priests at least 6 months before.
Yes - but the priest/deacon may need to obtain certain permissions from the Bishop.
If you are a Catholic and your partner is of another Christian denomination, providing you obtain permission before the wedding takes place, it is recognised as a valid marriage within the Church.
You will need to complete formal paperwork and obtain the necessary licence to marry. You will also need to attend a marriage preparation course which normally takes place over a weekend and the priest will give you information on this. There will be a small charge for this. You will also need to plan the wedding service with the Priest/Deacon. We normally allow 3-4 meetings for this.
There is no formal charge. You will need to consider the cost of flowers for the church, the cost of an organist if you want music and a donation to the church and the minister. Marriage can be a very expensive event but need not be so. The sacrament and blessing of your marriage should be as important as every other aspect of your day and you should invest in it accordingly. As a rough guide allow for 5% of the total wedding costs.
This will depend on several factors and cannot easily be answered here. Contact one of our priests as early as possible and he will examine your situation and discuss your options.