St Mary’s is a beautiful mediaeval church building. It has excellent facilities with organ, choir, flowers and bells. The worship space is practical and homely and offers the perfect setting for an English country wedding. It can seat up to 180 people.

Why get married? A relationship depends on mutual trust and commitment if it is to flourish. Marriage is the best possible way for a couple to tell each other that they want to build that relationship of trust together, and that they are committed to it in good times and in bad.

This clear statement helps couples to trust each other, helps them to be generous towards each other and to grow in love each for each other. It provides the framework for a healthy and life-giving relationship.
We get married very publicly, in front of family and friends and according to the law of the land. This demonstrates that our commitment has to be taken seriously by all of society. When we marry in church then our marriage is held before God and we can be sure that God will honour, respect and work creatively through the commitment that is made.
Have a look at what the Church of England says in its wedding website about getting married in church.

Could we get married at St Mary’s? At St Mary’s we enjoy welcoming couples who are interested in marriage, but there are laws governing who can get married in a parish church like St Mary’s. For most people there are two key questions which are relevant.

First Question – Have either of you been married before? Things are straight forward if you have never been married before, are a widow or widower. If you are divorced things are more difficult. Traditionally the Church of England does not marry people who are divorced if they have a former spouse who is still alive. In 2002 the law changed to give incumbents more discretion to marry divorcees, but the Rector of Lapworth normally does not exercise that discretion. In most cases he asks couple to marry in a civil ceremony and then to have the new marriage blessed in church. This was the pattern followed by the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall in 2005. It helps us to aspire to the ideals of marriage, whilst still being realistic about difficulties that we have suffered in the past. The blessing of a marriage in church is a very beautiful ceremony and can include many of the trappings associated with a marriage service. Through the blessing service a new marriage can be held before God, in much the same way as a marriage contracted in church. To organise a church blessing of a civil marriage please contact the Rector (01564 782098).

Second Question – Do you have a connection with Lapworth or St Mary’s that the law recognises as allowing to get married in the parish church? The answer is probably “yes” if any of the following apply:

  • you live in the parish. To see which parish you live in, type your postcode into “A Church Near You” website.
  • you are on the electoral role for the ecclesiastical parish
  • you were Baptised at St Mary’s, Lapworth
  • you were Confirmed at St Mary’s or through Lapworth Parish
  • your parents or grandparents were married in St Mary’s
  • you have lived in the parish for six months in the past
  • your parents have lived in the parish for six months since during your lifetime
  • you have worshipped regularly in the parish for six months
  • your parents have worshipped regularly in the parish for six months during your lifetime

Note that if none of the above apply, then it is always possible to create a qualifying connection with the parish by worshipping at St Mary’s regularly (i.e. at least twice per month) for six months. The Rector believes that six months of regular worship is an excellent preparation for marriage and is pleased to work with couples who would like to establish a qualifying connection in this way.
To discuss getting married at Lapworth please telephone the Rector on 01564 782098.

How do we get married at St Mary’s? First of all telephone the Rector on 01564 782098 (Mornings, Monday to Thursday is usually the best time).

The Rector will talk through the possibilities with you, and may ask you to fill in the Wedding Application Form.  In some cases it may be necessary to complete an additional form relating to the Church of England Marriage Measure 2008. After that we normally meet:
Initial Meeting – Typically 60 minutes, to check the legalities, explain the process and talk about marriage.
Marriage Preparation Meeting – This is an all day event (10am to 4pm) involving many couples, which takes place on the first Saturday of March each year. It encourages couples to reflect on their relationship and how it can be strengthened and enriched through getting married and being married.
Meeting 3-4 months before the Wedding – The legal preliminaries (Banns of Marriage or Licence) are set in motion. We plan the service and talk about the important texts in the Church of England Marriage Service.
Rehearsal – We normally meet in church during the week before the wedding to walk through the wedding service together.

Planning a marriage service at St Mary’s.

The Rector encourages couples to suggest music and readings which are suitable for their wedding. The service needs to fit with the expectations of the Church of England nationally and locally, and final responsibility the service rests with the Rector.

Printing an Order of Service Giving each member of the congregation Order of Service helps them to follow the marriage service and especially to join in with the hymns and the prayers.

It also provides a lovely souvenir of the occasion. (An Order of Service is not essential; we do have hymn books we can give out.) If you want to print an order of service, please discuss your plans with the Rector. The typical headings required are:

  • Processional Music: (e.g. The Bridal March, Wagner)
  • First Hymn (print all the words)
  • The Marriage
  • The Nuptial Blessing
  • Scripture Reading: 1 Corinthians 13 read by ….
  • Second Hymn (print all the words)
  • Prayers
  • The Lords Prayer (Include words)

    Our Father, who art in heaven,
    hallowed be thy name;
    thy kingdom come;
    thy will be done;
    on earth as it is in heaven.
    Give us this day our daily bread.
    And forgive us our trespasses,
    as we forgive those who trespass against us.
    And lead us not into temptation;
    but deliver us from evil.
    For thine is the kingdom,
    the power and the glory,
    for ever and ever.

  • Third Hymn (not essential but print all the words if included)
  • The Blessing
  • Signing the Register (perhaps include details of music)
  • Recessional Music: (e.g. The Wedding March, Mendelssohn)

Here is a good example of an Order of Service.