Letter to wedding couples, 7 April

To all couples planning to be married during 2020 in the Corby Glen Group of Churches

Dear Friends,

I am sorry it has been a little while since I last wrote to you, but I have been awaiting some legal clarifications from The Faculty Office of the Archbishop of Canterbury. This has now arrived so I hope that this letter will provide some comfort and consolation during these ongoing challenging and difficult times.

The first thing that has been clarified affects those of you who have been aiming to qualify to marry in our churches through habitual attendance. The Archbishops’ Office, in conjunction with the appropriate legal authorities, have now acknowledged that the current situation is beyond everyone’s control and that your inability to attend church at least once a month is not a matter of fault or negligence. Therefore, providing you had already begun your pattern of regular attendance before the Churches were closed, and providing you resume your attendance as soon as they re-open, the interim period will be presumed to have taken place. This was the conclusion that I hoped would be drawn, but I could not say that until the legal go- ahead had been given.

The situation in respect of Banns of Marriage is not changed, however. If your banns cannot be read in three consecutive public services prior to your marriage the only option remains a Common Licence. Once again, the unusual circumstances in which we find ourselves has led to an amendment of how this will work. As a Bishop’s Surrogate of Marriages I will still be able to complete the processes involved in acquiring this sort of Licence. But, the fee has been reduced from £200 to £90. This brings the cost of a Common Licence in line with the fees associated with the calling of banns in multiple parishes.

I know from your emails and phone calls that you must all be feeling the pressure of just what is going to happen as far as your own very special day is concerned. I know you will appreciate that the final decisions around when weddings can take place again, and in what circumstances, is beyond my control. But, please be assured, the moment we can go back to some sense of normality I will be writing to you to share the good news.

In the meantime, I would urge you to keep in touch with us through our Benefice Website, the address is: https://corbyglenchurches.uk

Do all keep safe and well.

I wish you all a Very Happy and Blessed Easter.

Revd Stephen