'Qualifying Connections' under the Church of England Marriage introduced 1st October 2008
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The Marriage Measure - In force from 1st October 2008 has made a difference to the previous arrangements and availability of a parish church for a marriage ceremony since the concept of 'residence' is now supplemented by a range of qualifying connections. In addition to residence in the parish or inclusion on the electoral roll, any couple may be married in any parish church provided that one of the persons concerned:
- was baptised in the parish; or
- has been confirmed and the confirmation has been entered in a church register book belonging to the parish, (this would have been done on the basis that the person concerned was prepared for confirmation in the parish); or
- has, at any time, had his or her usual place of residence in the parish for at least 6 months; or
- has, at any time, habitually attended public worship in the parish for at least 6 months
or that person's parent has, at any time during the person's lifetime:
- had his or her usual place of residence in the parish for at least 6 months; or
- habitually attended public worship in the parish for at least 6 months or that person's parent or grandparent was married in the parish.
(In this list, references to being baptised, confirmed or married, or attending public worship, all refer to Church of England services).
Common licences may be issued on the same basis.
For further advice and guidance, please refer to the Church of England website.
MARRIAGE LAW: Changes to Publication of Banns
The Church of England Marriage (Amendment) Measure 2012 received Royal Assent on 19th December 2012. Section 2 (dealing with the law regarding the publication of banns) came into force on that date.
Section 1 of the Measure amends the Church of England Marriage Measure 2008 and came into force on 1st June 2013. The legislation clarifies for the avoidance of doubt that those who have a 'qualifying connection' (as defined in the 2008 Measure) with a parish may benefit from various provisions of the Marriage Act 1949 in the same way that those who have a right to marry in his or her parish of residence or usual place of worship.
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