offering you a traditional wedding

Christian marriage is an intimate union of love between a man and a woman established by God in creation. Unlike secular marriage, this union isn't a social construction but an image in creation of God's love for his people. In the Bible, Jesus, the Son of God, is the bridegroom who comes to 'marry' his bride, the Church — the people of God. Through this communion of bridegroom and bride the people of God participate in God's divine life.

Marriage is also about creation. God gave us life, but throughout our life his creative love is still at work in us. And so the relationship of husband and wife is also creative, growing in love and orientated toward bringing new life into the world.

By choosing to be married in church a couple acknowledges that their marriage isn't merely a legal agreement but rather a creative, mystical union between a man and a woman that touches upon the divine.

Having said that, our lives are necessarily lived in the here and now, and so it is that by getting married in church and exchanging solemn vows before God a couple seeks God’s blessing and grace for the journey that lies ahead of them.

To love and to cherish

according to God's holy law

Can I get married in St Nicholas’ or St Leonard's?
Unlike a civil marriage, couples who wish to be married in church are not hiring a wedding venue. A marriage service held in church forms part of the rhythm of a parish’s life and worship. With this in mind, legislation requires couples to have a ‘qualifying connection’ with the parish in which they wish to marry.

You may be able to marry at St Nicholas' or St Leonard's if you can show:-
That one of you:
• has at any time lived in the parish for a period of at least 6 months
• was baptised in the parish
• was prepared for confirmation in the parish
• has at any time attended 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
• has regularly attended 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 none of the above conditions apply please contact the office to make an appointment to see the vicar to discuss other available options.

How much does it cost to get married in church?

A church wedding is usually considerably less expensive than a civil marriage, where the costs of both the venue and the services of a council registrar can be considerable (for example, a civil wedding at Arundel Town Hall on a Saturday afternoon costs in the region of £1650).

The statutory fee for a Marriage service in the Church of England is £522 (2023). This includes both the church and the services of the vicar. The Legal Preliminary fee is from £36. In addition, there may be local fees depending on your requirements (for example, if you would like the bells, organist, choir etc.).

How many people can attend the service?

St Nicholas church in Arundel can seat up to 300.
St Leonard's church in South Stoke can seat up to 70 people comfortably. The maximum is 90 people.

What next?
The next step is to contact the parish office to arrange an appointment to meet the vicar.

Marriage Application form

You may submit your marriage application form online: Marriage Application

Banns of Marriage Application Form

If you live in either the parish of St Nicholas Arundel or St Leonard's South Stoke but are getting married in another Church of England parish, you will need to arrange for your banns of marriage to be read in our churches. You can submit your application to us by completing the online form. Please note that there is a statutory fee for the calling of banns of marriage.