May we begin by offering you our congratulations in your decision to get married and to publicly declare your love and commitment to each other. Getting married in church is the best possible way to begin married life. It sets the wonder of human love — and it is wonderful — in the context of God’s love for us all.
To get married is to celebrate all the good that exists in your relationship to date and to make a further step in your relationship, the step of totally committing yourselves to a lifelong partnership together.
Why get married in Church?
A marriage service, wherever it is held, is to be celebrated as a public declaration of love and commitment to your partner.
So, why get married in Church?
We believe the real benefit of getting married at St Mary’s is the way it will add a spiritual dimension to your marriage. You are specifically inviting God to bless your marriage and be a part of your married life together. Including God in your marriage doesn’t mean that you will avoid all the usual ups and downs, but you will know that you can look not only to family and friends but also to St Mary’s Church and, of course God, for help and support come what may.
Can I get married at St Mary’s?
Because St Mary’s Church is a small and intimate church, that is full of history, it has an atmosphere that makes marrying here a particularly special experience.
Yes, you can get married in St Mary’s if either of you, as bride or groom, can show that you have just one of the following seven Qualifying Connections with the parish.
That one of you:
- Has at any time lived in the parish of St Mary’s for a period of at least six months. (The parish is the area of Chessington served by St Mary’s. The church vicar can advise you whether your address falls within the parish or not.)
- Was baptised (christened) at St Mary’s Church.
- Was prepared for confirmation at St Mary’s Church.
- Has at any time regularly gone to normal church services in St Mary’s for a period of at least six months.
Or that one of your parents, at any time after you were born:
- Has lived in the parish of St Mary’s for a period of at least six months.
- Has regularly gone to normal church services in St Mary’s church for a period of at least six months.
Or that one of your parents or grandparents:
- Was married at St Mary’s.
If none of the above apply, you may still be able to get married at St Mary’s if you are willing to attend St Mary’s Church Services on a regular basis (at least once a month) for a period of six months.
The laws about who can get married where are complex, and if you have any doubts, it is best to ring the Vicar and explain your circumstances, and he will be able to advise you.
Can I get married at St Mary’s if I’m divorced?
At St Mary’s we believe that we are here to show God’s love and to share God’s blessing, not to make judgements on someone’s past life. For this reason we strive to welcome people and will usually conduct the marriage of a person who has been married before if we are legally able to do so. Our vicar is happy to explore each request on a case by case basis. Get in touch and we can talk through all the options without any pressure!
What if one of us is a foreign national
In the case of someone whose nationality is not British it is important that you contact the vicar to find out if you can get married in St Mary’s and what legal procedures need to be followed in your particular circumstances.
Booking the Church!
As soon as you have decided that you would like to get married at St Mary’s please contact the Honorary Curate Revd. Canon Hilary Johnson (Telephone Number: 07764 221116) to make an initial appointment. We will then get you to complete the basic wedding application forms and provisionally book the date and time desired if it is available. We will then arrange a time when you can meet up in person with the Vicar to help you start planning your wedding day with us.
Please book early in order to be sure of getting the required date. A year in advance is not uncommon and please do not book other venues such as the Reception before booking the Church.
Date and Time?
Most weddings take place on Saturdays, and must take place between 8.00am and 6.00pm. Whilst we do occasionally conduct weddings on Friday afternoon’s we do not hold weddings on Sunday’s due to baptisms taking place.
How much will it Cost?
For 2023 the basic cost of a wedding at St Mary’s is £564.00.
- Publication of Banns of Marriage £36.00
- The Marriage Service £528.00
There are also a number of extra options which you may as a couple choose or decline. These are:
- The support of a verger £50.00
- Church Heating £50.00
- Ringing of Bells £40.00
Please note that the service of an organist is also an optional extra and the fee needs to be paid separately in agreement with your organist.
You can find excellent material and help at:
Who to contact
If you have any questions or would like to arrange a wedding at St Mary’s please contact the Church Parish Office.