Weddings take place in both Withyham and Blackham Churches. Couples getting married at one of our churches can look forward to a truly beautiful and traditional occasion.
In the Church of England, you can be married if you live in the parish or have connections with the parish. Since 2009, it is possible to be married in Church if you live outside the Parish and do not have connections with it if certain criteria are met.
Note that The Parish here refers to the Ecclesiastical (Church) Parish of Withyham and Blackham. The Civil (Parliamentary) Parish of Withyham is much bigger and includes that part of Groombridge which is in East Sussex (sometimes known as New Groombridge) as well as St. John's, Crowborough (the latter two parishes formed part of Withyham Church Parish until the late Nineteenth Century).
Many people wish to be married in a Church with which they have family connections.
The 2009 Marriage Measure widened the scope to permit marriage in the parish church if one of the couple:
was baptised (christened) in the parish;
was prepared for confirmation in the parish;
has at any time lived in the parish for a period of at least six months;
have regularly attended the Church for a period of six months in the past
In addition, it is also possible to attend church regularly (once a month) for six months prior to Calling of Banns (an announcement in Church at the beginning of a service).
Where a couple are British citizens but living abroad, they will need to apply for a Common Licence.
If one of the couple is a Non-EU citizen, they will have to apply for a Superintendent Registrar's Certificate (SRC).
Occasionally couples are granted an Archbishop of Canterbury's Special Licence.
The above three categories are the exception: the normal legal preliminary to being married in church is the Calling of Banns called on three Sundays within three months of the wedding.
If one of a couple has been married before and been divorced, that does not preclude being married in church, but an additional discussion has to take place with the Rector, James Campbell.
Following a preliminary visit to book a date and gather essential information, James normally has two sessions at the Rectory lasting about an hour and a half each: at the first, the Order of Service is discussed, and an online Marriage Inventory completed; at the second session, the logistics are revisited, the words of the service looked at and the inventory discussed. There is a rehearsal in church, often on the Thursday before a Saturday wedding.
Standard Church of England fees for holding a wedding in church apply, to which the cost of the marriage inventory, heating, verger is added plus organist, choir and bell ringers which can be arranged on request.
Flowers are arranged separately with our in-house team or an external florist can be used. Two arrangements need to remain in situ in the Church; the arrangement by the main altar and in the Lady Chapel. It is possible for clergy, organist or choir to be friends or relatives and to be involved in the service.
It is possible to have your wedding reception at Buckhurst Park, which is within easy reach of Withyham Church. Contact for further details: Buckhurst Park
The Church of England does not permit the marriage of same-sex couples in Church.
Please get in touch with the Rector, James Campbell if you have any questions and would like to discuss date availability.