The marriage ceremony is a public declaration of your love for each other and a statement of your commitment to an ongoing relationship. It will give you a new legal status as husband and wife and a new stability within which your relationship can grow and flourish.
By choosing to be married in a church you are saying that you want God to be a part of your relationship. The Bible is full of references to love and Christians believe that the love you have for each other is a reflection of God's love for all his people on earth.
Including God in your marriage does not mean that you will necessarily avoid all the ups and downs but you will know that you can look to Him for help and guidance and that His love will sustain you in the years to come. You will also have the support and encouragement of the Christian church family to rely on.
The Bible compares married love with the love Jesus has for his followers. He expressed his love by being prepared to sacrifice himself, even to die for the people he loved. This is an amazing example of unconditional love. Jesus never said "I love you, but. . . ". In our marriages we can try to follow his model by loving our partners in a self-sacrificial way, always putting their needs before our own.
Even if you are not churchgoers, many people find great joy and encouragement from having their marriage blessed by God.
In order to be married at St. Mary’s Church, Maulden one of you must meet ONE of the following criteria:
you must reside in the parish at the time you apply for Banns of Marriage. Banns are called at the main Sunday service on three occasions within three months of your wedding day. If one of you lives in another parish, your Banns will have to be called in your local Church of England church in addition to Maulden;
if neither of you lives in Maulden then you must be on the Church Electoral Roll. This requires that you are baptised and habitually attend worship (services) at St. Mary’s Church for a minimum period of six months before your name(s) are entered on the Roll. Once entered on the Electoral Roll, you have a legal right to be married at the Church;
if neither of you lives in Maulden or is on the Electoral Roll of the church, you are still legally entitled to marry at St Mary's Maulden if (a) you were baptised or confirmed there, or (b) you habitually worshipped there for at least six months, or (c) you lived in Maulden for at least six months, or (d) your parents lived in Maulden for at least six months during your lifetime, or (e) if your parents or grandparents were married at the Church.
Instead of Banns, where appropriate, couples may instead apply for a Common Licence, which is then valid for three months.
There is a rehearsal evening for all couples the week before the wedding.
The cost of a wedding at St Mary's Church in 2017 is £626. This includes legal fees and the organist. There are additional fees of £70 for the choir and £155 for the bells. This compares favourably with many secular locations.
Marriage where there has been divorce
It is possible under certain circumstances to be married in church if one or both of you have been married before and your previous spouses are still living. This will be handled on an individual basis.
Where a civil marriage has taken place it is also possible to come to church for a service of blessing. You will be asked to provide proof of your marriage.
Thanksgivings and anniversaries
More couples are seeking a way to celebrate their marriages and want to do this in church. Renewal of vows or a particular anniversary are appropriate occasions to bring together your family and friends to celebrate your love for each other and to ask for God’s continued blessing on you both.
For more information or to arrange an initial discussion, please contact the Rector - see "contact us" page.