Planning a Wedding

Marriage is governed by Civil Law and Church Law.  It is also a sacrament of the Church and therefore needs to be thought about with great care.  It will involve an amount of paperwork and preparation which should not be arduous provided care is given and good time taken to provide the necessary documents.  Please read the material below carefully.  Thank you.

Enquiry Stage

Initial enquiries regarding the use of Jesus Christ Redeemer of Mankind, Cranleigh or St Thomas More, Bramley should be sent in writing to the

Parish Secretary,
The Presbytery,
2 St Nicolas Avenue,
GU6 7AQ.  

Your letter of enquiry should contain your names and addresses with contact details and the proposed date (approximately) for the wedding.  Please also state your religious affiliation and whether you have ever been married before.

In order to celebrate the Sacrament of Matrimony in the Catholic Church, at least one of you must be a Catholic.  If you do not normally worship in our Parish, please state the name of the parish where you normally attend Mass and give the reasons you wish to marry here.

Please remember that it is important to approach the church first before making your plans for a reception venue.   According to Diocesan Law, you must give a minimum of twelve (12) months’ notice of the proposed wedding date.  No dates will be confirmed until you both meet with a priest from the Parish.

We will be in touch very soon after receiving your letter.

If you have a situation that you would prefer to discuss with a priest prior to writing, the secretary will be happy to arrange an appointment over the phone.

Please note you must not have a civil marriage (Registry Office) performed prior to the Church wedding unless by special arrangement with the church.

Outline Agreement
Once your letter of enquiry has been received and reviewed, a member of our Clergy will contact you to have an initial discussion.  Only once this discussion has taken place should you consider any agreement to date or venue to have been made.

Essential Documents
Once outline agreement is given by the priest or deacon for the marriage to take place within our Parish and a date and time for the ceremony has been agreed, the following documents should be provided to the priest or deacon.

1. If you are not choosing to be married in your local parish church, you still need to meet with your local parish priest to conduct the paperwork and preliminaries.  He will also need to confirm that he has no objection to you being married outside your parish.

2. Declaration of Freedom to Marry for each party.

3. A currently-dated baptismal certificate from the church where you were baptised.  This must be currently dated as it will also serve as evidence of Freedom to Marry. (This means within 6 months of your proposed wedding date)

4.From your local Registry office: a certificate for each of you that permits you to be married.  These must be applied for as soon as possible (but not more than one year before the proposed date of marriage) and not less than fifteen days before the wedding. By law, the certificates must be given to the priest before the ceremony so please deliver them as soon as possible.

The Legal name of the church is either “Jesus Christ Redeemer of Mankind Church” or “St Thomas More Church”.

The Registrar’s office for those who live in West Surrey is
Artington House,
Portsmouth Road,
GU2 4DZ.
Tel No. 0300 200 1002.

5. Proof of attendance on a Marriage Preparation Course.  Currently, our parish is asking couples to attend the Pre Marriage Course run by St Joseph’s Parish in Guildford.  To make inquiries please call 01483 562704 or click here.

6.A £30 cheque, addressed to ‘The Diocese or Arundel & Brighton’, for mixed marriages i.e. marriages whether one of the parties is not catholic.  This is to cover administration costs for the Diocese of Arundel & Brighton.

Marriage Preparation
Your wedding should be the culmination of much prayer and reflection.  Your priest will guide you in this process.  To assist you in this, it is required that both of you attend a Couple’s Course in a parish near to you or at our cluster of churches in nearby Guildford.

The Marriage Ceremony and Order of Service
Once your formal and legal preparations are underway, you will need to contact us again to arrange a meeting and discuss details of the ceremony including preparing the Order of Service with readings, special prayers, music and the like.

This meeting will also agree details of music and flowers and set a time for the marriage ceremony rehearsal.

To prepare for this meeting, please read through the preliminary information.

Normally a donation of £200 for the use of the church is requested payable to “Cranleigh and Bramley Parish”.  If you are a UK tax-payer, this should be gift-aided (an envelope will be provided).  This can be waived in the case of serious hardship.
The Church does not charge for sacraments but it is customary to make a personal donation to the celebrant who marries you.  The amount is entirely up to you, but perhaps we can suggest that it might be in line with other gifts you make to other parties who have some part in your wedding service and day.

A registrar Fee (currently £80) is required for the legal witnessing and recording of the marriage and issuing of the Marriage Certificate.

Finally, getting married is a hugely important event …

The ceremony is rich in symbolism and solemnity reflecting the seriousness of what the couple are doing and the life-changing importance for their future happiness.  We aim to have all documentation completed well before the wedding (documentation six weeks before, fees 14 days before) to enable you to concentrate on and enjoy everything on your importance and happily day.

Should you require further assistance or clarification, please do not hesitate to ask.  It is our wish to make your Wedding Day as memorable as possible.