Congratulations on your upcoming marriage! In this document you will find everything you need to know about Banns of Marriage.
Most Church of England marriages require banns to be read out in church before the wedding can take place. Although a legal requirement, banns can be a special occasion too.
Here’s your essential guide to Church of England banns:-
Banns are an announcement in church of your intention to marry and a chance for anyone to put forward a reason why the marriage may not lawfully take place.
Banns are an ancient legal tradition and have been read out every week in churches across the land for millions of couples, over many centuries.
After your forthcoming marriage is announced, the congregation may be invited to pray for you both. It can be quite special and moving to hear this, so do go along if you can.
Banns need to be read in the parish where each of you lives as well as the church in which you are to be married, if that is somewhere else. Please double check that this is the correct parish for you by putting your postcode into the parish finder on https://www.achurchnearyou.com/
You must have your banns read out in church for three Sundays during the three months before the wedding. This is usually done over three consecutive Sundays.
As well as being a legal requirement, your banns readings are special public occasions when people in church hear of your intention to marry. It’s an exciting and happy time, so you’re welcome to invite your family and friends to hear your banns too, if you’d like.
If there is not enough notice given for the banns to be read before the marriage is due to take place, or if one or both of you are British but do not live in England (or Wales), the Common Licence procedure needs to be used rather than banns.
If one or both of you is a national of a country which is outside the European Economic Area [EEA], you will require a Superintendent Registrar’s Certificate to marry, rather than have banns read.
What do I need to do to apply for my banns to be read?
To apply to have your banns read at Saint Saviour’s Church in the Meadows, contact and arrange a meeting with one of our church wardens (Oliver or Charlie) by email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note that our wardens are volunteers in the church who both have full-time jobs. They are usually not available during the week.
As you can imagine, we have a lot of requests for banns. You will need to make an appointment and bring the application form. Do not expect to just turn up at the church without an appointment.
Print and fill in the application form [found below] with basic details of both marriage partners, occupation, parents details, wedding date etc.
At the meeting you arrange with the wardens bring the form, payment, and both passports to show that both of you are from the EEA.
The fee for publication and banns certificate is £44 paid up front, by cash or cheque made payable to Saint Saviour’s PCC.
We will then arrange some dates for the banns to be read. We would love to welcome you to come to church to hear them read.
Banns are read around 3 months before the wedding - so don’t leave it too late to arrange them.
Please collect your certificate on the last Sunday of your banns being read. You can then give it to your officiating minister. Banns are read in the 4.30-5.30pm Sunday service.
God bless you in your marriage, may you grow in love for one another.
Click on the link below to download the Banns of Marriage application form.