St Michael & All Angels

Sharing God's Love

FAQs

Q. Can we get married in church?
Yes – if one of you is (or was) a resident in the parish, were baptised or confirmed here, if your parents live or were married here, or if one of you worships (or has worshipped) here regularly for six months. If none of these are applicable, it may still be possible to marry here by Special Licence, although you will need to chat with us to discuss this as it is quite a complicated and lengthy process.

Q. Can I get married in church if I have been divorced?
Yes - although we believe that marriage is for life,  we also understand that unfortunately sometimes relationships do break down. The Vicar is always happy to discuss this.  Click here to email Vicar

Q. What if I/my partner is a foreign national?
Recent changes to the Law in Britain (March 2015) have introduced different procedures for those who are not British nationals.
The vicar will need to see your Passport (or other proof of nationality). If both partners are British citizens, you can get married after the calling of Banns in the traditional way.
If one of you has nationality of an EEC country, we will arrange for you to get a Common Licence. If one of you has any other nationality, you now have to make an appointment to go to the local Registrar (Canterbury, Ramsgate, Maidstone, Dartford or Tunbridge Wells) and get a Superintendent Registrar’s Certificate. This replaces the calling of Banns.

Q. What is the basic procedure?

And More ...

Q. What about having a printed Order of Service?
Most couples tend to have a printed Order of Service. The Vicar will provide a template, including the words of hymns and will also check the 'proof' before you go to print, just in case anything may need changing.
When you decide on how many to print, be generous on the quantity as you may wish to keep a few copies to send to absent family members. Also, if you have booked a choir, they will need copies as well.

Q. What do we do about flowers?
During the year the church is decorated with a flower arrangement somewhere near the Altar. These are done by local volunteers, often using whatever flowers are available at the time.
The only exceptions are the weeks of Advent (the four weeks before Christmas) and Lent (the six weeks before Easter) when the church is left without flowers. This is so that there can be a significant contrast when flowers are brought back in for the festivals of Christmas and Easter.
If you wish to supplement the normal flower arrangement please click here to email Jane Phillips our Wedding Flower arranger.


Q. What is 'Calling Banns'?
This legal requirement goes back several centuries, when the names of couples had to be read out in their home villages to give people the opportunity to object if either were already married. Today, with the population being far more mobile, and fewer people going to church, the chances of your names even being known by the church congregation are somewhat remote. However, the law still requires this to be done, and also requires us to charge a Fee. Banns need to be read in the parish(es) where you live and where you will be married (if different) and other parishes have to supply a Certificate to the church where the wedding takes place to prove that no objection has been raised. If you need to be sure in which parish you live, click here and enter your Postcode.

Q. Who are 'Ushers' and what do they do?
Please will you appoint some friends as 'Ushers'. These will welcome guests, supervise parking, hand out Orders of Service, ensure everyone have appropriate seats, and have turned off their phones. They will also be available in case of any unforseen problems,  generally act as your gofers.

Q. What are the rules about Photography?
Many couples employ a photographer to record the event. We are very happy to assist in this, but we  ask that flash is not used during the service itself, and also that the photographer remains in one position rather than moving around, which can be distracting. We suggest and encourage your photographer to attend the rehearsal and the Vicar will advise on the best positions to place a tripod.
When it comes to the signing of Registers, for legal reasons the actual signing is not allowed to be photographed. We therefore pose a signing immediately after you have actually done it. 
If you also wish to have video made of your wedding, there are additional issues of copyright and performing rights as far as music and singing are concerned. The organist is also due a double fee when this occurs. We can offer advice on this, and will direct you to the appropriate website to obtain your Limited Manufacture Licence, a copy of which will need to be held in the church's records. Following a recent legal judgement, this also applies if someone is taking a video of your wedding on their mobile phone.

Q. And Mobile Phones?
Please switch off all phones for the duration of the service.

Q. Can we have Confetti?
We recommend bio-degradable  confetti or rose petals. Rice hurts! Metallic confetti is dangerous to birdlife.  We suggest that people hold on to their confetti until the photographer asks them to throw it - that way it can be orchestrated into a lively photograph.

Q. Is the church disability friendly?
We can accommodate disabled people in church. We have an access door via the side chapel with a ramp into the main part of the church.  Two pews have cut-outs to enable a wheelchair to sit comfortably there. There is also a sound system to help those who are hard of hearing, and a hearing loop.

Q. Are there Toilets?
Currently there is no toilet in the church, although we are hoping to install one before too long. In the mean time, access to the Vestry Hall can be arranged.
There are also toilet facilities over in the public car park behind the Library.

Q. How about Parking?
The church is not responsible for parking and it is somewhat limited outside church. It is vital that your guests only park on one side of the road, normally the side nearest the church, so as not to cause an obstruction to larger vehicles and emergency services.
However, we are pleased that there is also parking in the public car park behind the library, the station carpark and  surrounding roads.