Holy Trinity Church, Cookham

Serving at the Heart of Your Community

Marriage Policy

In our church we uphold the traditional teaching of the Church about marriage, that it is gift of God in creation and a means of grace and that it should always be undertaken as a lifelong commitment.

We are delighted to marry all couples who come to us requesting a marriage service providing:

a)  At least one of the couple lives or has a place of residence in the parish or at least one of the couple is a regular worshipper at our church and has their name on the Electoral Roll.

b)  The couple make every effort to share in and contribute to our marriage preparation activities.

c)  There has been no previous marriage for either party where a previous partner is still living.

In line with the Marriage Measure 2008 we will also consider applications for marriage from couples who have a qualifying connection with one of our churches. These qualifying connections are;

One of the person’s concerned:

a)  was baptised in the parish; or

b)  has been confirmed and the confirmation has been entered in a register book belonging to the parish; or

c)  has at any time had his or her usual place of residence in the parish for at least 6 months: or

d)  has at any time habitually attended public worship in the parish for at least 6 months; or

e)  have parents who at any time during the person’s lifetime have had their usual place of residence in the parish for 6 months; or

f)  have parents who at any time during the person’s lifetime habitually attended public worship in the parish for at least 6 months; or

g)  have parents or grandparents who were married in the parish.

The acceptance of applications for marriage in these circumstances will depend on the willingness of the couple to share in our marriage preparation activities and the availability of a priest to conduct the marriage.

We do not usually offer marriage to couples when one or both of them have been married before and where a previous partner is still living.  We will, however, offer the Service of Prayer and Dedication after a Civil Marriage providing the relationship in question did not begin before a previous marriage ended.

In exceptional circumstances we are prepared to perform a marriage service for a couple when one or both of them are divorced, providing they fulfil any of the requirements above and providing the priest in charge (and the officiating priest) receive assurance that:

1.  At least one of the couple are members of our church or of a church where they will eventually settle.

2.  The new relationship did not begin before any previous marriage ended.

3.  Both parties understand divorce is a breach of God’s will for marriage.

4.  Both parties are determined to make the new marriage a lifelong, faithful partnership.

5.  There is a mature understanding of why a previous marriage failed and an expression of repentance about past wrongs. (Official papers relating to a divorce may be asked for)

6.  Appropriate arrangements have been made for any children of a previous marriage.

7.  Where possible, every effort has been made to establish a good relationship with a previous marriage partner.

8.  A sufficient amount of time has passed since the breakdown of a previous marriage.

We affirm the conscientious right of present and future members of our clergy team not to solemnize a marriage where one or both of the partners is divorced.

 

Holy Trinity Parochial Church Council  

September 2008