We love church weddings because they are a community event and a way of saying “God, be in our life and in our marriage”
We believe that the wedding day is the beginning of something very special. It is the moment when a man and woman seek God’s blessing as they step into a timeless truth. Man and woman are designed by God for one another in companionship, love, family creation and playing their part in church and community within God’s Holy pattern. Marriage is about becoming one in God’s eyes and knowing His Blessing. So, we love weddings and hope you find the day is great fun!
Talking to couples who have married here we have found something quite surprising. Looking back several years later many find that the wedding journey was a point where exploring the centrality of who Jesus Christ is took on new meaning. Many wedding couples end up becoming key members of this Christian community.
To get married at Busbridge or Hambledon Church you need to meet certain ’qualifying’ rules. They are not rules which we have created but which exist across the UK. Qualifying means that your banns (names)are read out in church and must also be read out in the church where your fiance may reside. If one of you lives outside of the parish we cannot conduct the wedding unless you have a copy of the banns certificate from the other parish.
How do we know if we qualify?
The most common reason is that Busbridge and Hambledon is your local Anglican church. This mean that you or your fiance or at least one of your parents permanently lives within the parish. You can check which parish you are in by looking at a church near you.
- You or your fiance or your parents have lived within the parish of Busbridge/Hambledon for at least 6 months during your lifetime or
- You or your fiance are known to regularly* attend Busbridge or Hambledon Church as your current and future habitutal place of Christian community and worship and as such are already on the church electoral roll (voting membership)
*Regular means a minimum of 6 months fortnightly or more frequent involvement in Christian worship and activity including Sunday attendance (PCC, Busbridge and Hambledon Church).
The third reason is known as an ‘historic qualifying connection’. This is to do with past Christian worship or practice and your wider family:
Your parents or your grandparents were married at Busbridge or Hambledon Church
You or your fiance were baptised at Busbridge or Hambledon Church and entered in the relevant baptism register
You or your finance confirmed your Christian belief through Busbridge or Hambledon Church and this has been entered in the relevant confirmation register
The next step is to contact the Church Office. The person to get in touch with is Nick Pinches and you can phone him on 01483 421267.
Some useful information regarding weddings and marriage
We do not have a qualifying connection. Is there a way we can marry at Busbridge&Hambledon church?
It is a great privilage to help people prepare for marriage. We would love to say ‘yes’ to every marriage request which comes our way but this is just not possible.
If we said yes to everybody we may find ourselves unable to offer the personal approach and care that we try to give to every couple. We are not legally allowed to offer marriage to absolutely anyone from anywhere and in quite rare situations it is sometimes impossible for us to seek God’s blessing on a relationship which is incompatible with Christian teaching and Scripture. There are certain rules and obligations upon us which we must adhere to. We are also careful not to overly pack Saturdays with many weddings because we want every couple to have the necessary time to marry, worship God and enjoy the day.
Common license and Archbishop’s special license
I/we are moving to Godalming soon. Response: please move first and settle into a church and then you may apply by the usual routes
We have a wedding venue nearby and Busbridge and Hambledon are close. Response: a venue is rarely taken into account when considering a license application
We have another relative who lives locally such as an aunt, uncle or sibling. Response: qualifying connection is specifically a parent or grandparent
We wish to marry somewhere near to friends/good for transport links. Response: marriage possibilies are centred on locality of parents or of the bride/groom
We have an affinity with the church here. Response: if affinity means that the church is beautiful then this cannot be taken into account. If the affinity is based on previous worship through baptism/confirmation or through the worship of parents or grandparents please apply by the usual routes
Marriage between a man and woman was created by God as a gift for love, relationship, sexual activity, creation of children and nurture of future generations. It is a personal, communal and spiritual journey.
Because of this we believe in supporting marriages by inviting couples to attend a relaxed and informative Marriage Preparation Day (usually February/May twice a year). It is one of the ways we hope to help you develop a strong marriage. You might like to look at the vision and values page to find out more about why we offer this support.
We are realistic about the pressures that couples face and also offer marriage enrichment support and have people willing to listen if a marriage enters a difficult phase.
- It is never too early to make an enquiry
- We have an organist who is available to play at weddings. Please contact the church office on 01483 421267 to check availability (please give as much notice as possible)
- You will need to fill in some legal declarations and have these checked and read out. This form filling can be seen as a chore but it’s a legal requirement. If you would like to be be married at Busbridge or Hambledon Church or, as a local resident, need to have your Banns read due to a wedding elswhere, please contact the Church Office on 01483 421267 as soon as possible
- If one of you lives outside of Busbridge and Hambledon area (parish) you must have your banns read in the location where you live and obtain a copy of the banns certificate. We cannot conduct the wedding without that banns certificate copy
- The service needs to be personal and reflect who you are. You will need to pick a couple of hymns and a Bible reading (we can give help on choosing these). You will also need some music before the wedding begins (the Processional) and also more music for the signing of registers and when leaving as husband and wife (the Recessional)
- There are a number of costs involved in a wedding, however the church service is probably the cheapest part of the whole day!
Can we have a wedding Blessing after a registry office?
- People choose to marry at many locations outside of a consecrated Christian church. At all of these any images or reference to God is not allowed. If you marry at a registry office you can usually have a wedding blessing afterwards. A wedding blessing is usually about 20 minutes in length. We would welcome an opportunity to discuss this option with you
- It may be that your marriage was some years ago and you would now like to bring the marriage before God. We welcome this opportunity to help you celebrate your marriage and it is treated in the same way as a renewal of vows/thanksgiving for marriage
We have been married a while and would like to renew our wedding vows or give thanks for a certain number of years of marriage.
- People choose to rededicate themselves to one another for many reasons. For some it is because a deeper understanding of marriage has taken root in the intervening years. For others there is a particular milestone or anniversary, usually something like the 10th, 20th or 25th year of marriage. One of our more recent renewal/thanks for marriage services was with a couple who had been married 50 years
- We like to ensure that the renewal/thanks for marriage is personal to you so will discuss your ideas and help you shape this special celebration
- We often hold these celebrations within a usual Sunday morning service but we can also offer them at other times of the week
Can we marry if one or both of us has been through divorce?
- If one of you has been divorced it may be possible to marry here. This depends on the circumstances involved. Do ask if you would like to talk through the possibilities
- Contrary to the public image portrayed; divorce is never free of pain or hurt and we do not seek to pry into people’s lives and are careful with that which we need to discuss with you. A central question is whether there is a decree nici or a decree absolute. It is not possible to marry without a decree absolute. We will need to have sight of this document
Confetti – can we throw it?
We are often asked if confetti is ok. It is probably better than the historical choice of rice! We understand that confetti is part of the fun. We’re not going to check(!) but we would ask you to consider whether the bridesmaids would draw attention to confetti which does not damage the environment. Many local people seem to use rose petals but we’re not pedantic about such things. We do not allow confetti in the church. We suggest it is thrown on the steps (Busbridge) and by the gate (Hambledon).
Photographs/video – ok?
First and foremost a wedding is a Christian act of worship but we recognise that photos/video are an important ingredient. There are rules on video recording because of regulations regarding the recording of music. Each member of the clergy has a slightly different approach to photos/video so please discuss this with them nearer the time. Generally, we do not mind a photographer as long as they make a recce visit; stand out of the way and are not noticable in moving around the church. Flash photography is rarely acceptable.
Non-Christian music or readings in the wedding?
The assumption is that the wedding will be an entirely Christian service and there is a rich heritage of Christian material to choose from. There are certain points where it may be possible to have music or a reading/poem which is not Christian in its basis or content but this would need careful consideration. Almost all classic music is Christian in its formation and original setting. If this may be relevant to you please talk to the organist and clergy regarding this area.
We have a number of organists available to play at weddings. Please check with the Church Office for availability.
Neither church has a choir, but if you have a ‘tame’ choir you are very welcome to use them.
James Jagger – Looking for a photographer to capture your special event and moments at Busbridge or Hambledon Church? We have a church member who offers Wedding Photography.
We also have some very able flower arrangers in our congregations. If you would like to enquire about anything flowers for your event please contact the church office.
Clock Barn Hall is a nearby venue for wedding receptions, family parties, Christenings and corporate events. Easy access from the A3 to M25 and London, and both Busbridge and Hambledon Church.
Busbridge Village Hall is less than a 2 minutes walk from the church. For a larger wedding, it may be helpful to book the village hall parking facilities, as street parking at Busbridge Church can be limited. Please contact Clare Haddad (01483 422349) for any enquiries or to make a booking.
Both Busbridge & Hambledon only have one bell each, which can be rung at weddings.