The marriage service says that marriage “is a gift of God… and a means of his grace”. At a wedding we’re celebrating, first and foremost, the love of a couple for each other and their desire to spend the rest of their lives together. But we’re also celebrating God’s love for people and for his world, and we’re saying that strong relationships make the world a better place for us all to live in.
Christ Church is a lovely setting for a wedding. We have a beautiful church building, and we like to think we take real care to make a wedding a really special occasion for a couple.
Wedding bells, a resounding organ, a choir if you want one… All this is available. Through all this, though, we give a couple a chance to ask where their love for each other has come from, and to celebrate that love in marriage in the presence of God.
We are very experienced in helping couples to plan their marriage day. We ask couples to come to a one-afternoon preparation session, run by one of the clergy, with couples from the other two Anglican churches in Epsom. Then each couple sits down one-to-one with the minister who is conducting the service, to talk through further what marriage is and to discuss the details of the service. And then there’s a rehearsal in the week before the wedding.
It’s important, of course, to get the details right. But it’s also important to help couples ask some bigger questions, like: What’s marriage about? How will this change life for us? Where is God in this?
The present rules about marriage in a Church of England church (set by Parliament, not by us!) are quite precise, and you’ll be talked through them when you make an enquiry. To summarise them… People are entitled to be married in Christ Church if they live in the parish or are on the church’s electoral roll (quite different from the civil electoral list which entitles you to vote!) If you don’t live in the parish, and aren’t on our electoral roll, it’s sometimes possible to be married in Christ Church, if you can demonstrate some links with Christ Church. All very confusing, but don’t be put off – it’s always worth ringing us to ask and to discuss the possibilities!
We do offer marriage to couples where there is has been a divorce, but this is at the discretion of the minister, and involves a confidential preliminary discussion between the couple wanting to be married and one of the ministers of the church. If you want to be married at Christ Church, but have been divorced, please do let us know. No judgment at all – it’s just that we’ll need to talk this through a bit with you.
If you’re thinking about a marriage at Christ Church, please contact the Parish Administrator on 01372 743133 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
There is also a lot of useful planning and other material on the Church of England's weddings website which you can access by clicking on the graphic below.
Thanksgiving for Marriage
It is possible to renew your wedding vows in church in a ceremony that is as simple or elaborate as you like. Couples choose to do this for their own personal reasons, sometimes to celebrate an anniversary or family landmark, sometimes to give thanks for their relationship after a period of difficulty. The ceremony can include content chosen by you and will also include a confirmation of the vows you made at your wedding. Do talk to the clergy if you would like more information.