The legal bit
There are several key bits of legal information you need to know before getting married...

Weddings in the Parish of High Ongar

Legal preliminaries

Once we have provisionally agreed to conduct your wedding at High Ongar, one of the following three legal procedures must then be followed:

(a) If either or both of you are resident in the Parish of High Ongar or on its Electoral Roll then the simplest, cheapest and most common arrangement is for you to be married after the calling of Banns. Banns will need to be called in the parish church(es) in which you are both residing and/ or in the church(es) on whose Electoral Roll(s) either or both of you are listed, not more than three months in advance of your wedding day. Banns Certificate(s) evidencing that Banns have appropriately been called in churches other than High Ongar must be seen by us in advance of the rehearsal.

(b) If neither of you lives in the parish, then you may still marry at a church within the parish under Banns if you have a ‘special connection’ with the parish. A special connection is any one of the following:

That one of you:

• has at any time lived in the parish for a period of at least 6 months or
• was baptised in the parish concerned or
• was prepared for confirmation in the parish or
• has at any time regularly gone to normal church services in the parish church for a period of at least 6 months or

That one of your parents, at any time after you were born:

• has lived in the parish for a period of at least 6 months or
• has regularly gone to normal church services in the parish church for a period of at least 6 months or

That one of your parents or grandparents:

• was married in the parish

If you are unable to provide documentary proof of your special connection, then you will have to swear a statutory declaration with a solicitor who is likely to charge you a fee.

(c) Even if one or both of you resides in the parish and/ or is on the High Ongar and/ or has a Special Connection, there are some circumstances, eg where one of you is a foreign national, where Banns are not legally sufficient. In these circumstances, you will need to apply for a Common Licence, not more than three months in advance of your wedding day. In order to apply for a Common Licence, you will need to book a meeting either locally with The Revd Susan Cooper (Tel 01277 362173) or with the Diocesan Registrar, Mr B J Hood, (tel: 01245 259470). Both would ask you to complete a form and swear an affidavit, as well as paying a fee. Foreign nationals would need to take their passport or identity card to this meeting. You will then be sent/ issued with your Marriage Licence which must be seen by us in advance of the rehearsal.

(d) Otherwise you will usually have to apply for a Special Licence from the Faculty Office of the Archbishop of Canterbury, not more than three months in advance of your wedding day. They will only usually grant such a licence if you have a strong and bona fide connection with the Church and/or Town. In order to obtain an application form for a Special Licence you need to contact:

The Faculty Office
1 The Sanctuary
Westminster
London, SW1P 3JT

Tel: 0207 222 5381

 

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