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Weddings FAQs

Here are a few common questions, just give us a shout if this doesn’t answer your questions.

We often get asked…

How can I arrange to meet with someone to discuss a church wedding?

This is usually organised by one of our parish administrators, Rachel Smith or Hilary Dipper. They can be contacted by telephone on 01726 64299, by email: admin@staustellparish.uk, or by calling in at the Parish Office : 9 Trevarthian Road, St Austell (up the hill behind the church).

I’m not a church-goer, does that matter?

The parish church is here for the community and we are willing to discuss your particular circumstances and requirements to see if we can help. Weddings are usually arranged and conducted by either our vicar, Rev’d Howard Flint or our curate, Rev’d Ian Gulland.

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I don’t live in St Austell Parish and I would like to have my wedding at one of the three churches.

We regularly have couples choosing one of our churches for different reasons:

  • If you have a current or historic connection with one of the churches then the arrangements are quite straightforward. For example: if you worship at one of the churches or worshipped at the church when you were a child, these circumstances would provide a basis for indicating you have a connection with the church.
  • If you do not have an existing link, this can be established by attending services once a month for six months in advance of the wedding.

When I arrive for a pre-wedding chat what information should I bring?

We need:

  • Your name and the name of your fiancé/fiancée.
  • Your addresses and dates of birth.
  • A mobile telephone number.

Do you allow non-religious music and poetry during services?

We recognise that particular pieces of music and poems can be a very special part of people’s lives and the service is a great place to include these pieces. If you do have particular requests then it is a good idea to mention this when you meet with the minister for a chat.

What happens during the wedding interview with the minister?

These meetings are really important as it is a great opportunity for you to get to know the minister and for the minister to get to know you. This means that the service can be tailored to your life story and your wishes. It is also a good way for the minister to reassure you that you will be well supported and that you are in very capable hands.

Once you have met the minister you will discuss:

  • The preliminaries, including the reading of the banns. This is a legal requirement as your intention to marry must be read out in the church where you are to be married (you can also opt to have them read in your local church too) for three Sundays during the three months prior to the wedding. These are occasions where couples and / or families may choose to come along and listen to the banns being read.
  • The church also provides opportunities for couples to attend marriage preparation classes (see FAQs) and these will be outlined. There is no obligation to attend classes, but many who do attend find them helpful.
  • At the meeting you can discuss hymn choices and the form of the service.
  • There is an opportunity to raise any questions or concerns you may have.

Can we have a different style of service?

Yes, there are some things that do not change in Christian services, for example wedding vows. Otherwise there is quite a bit of freedom regarding the style of the service.

I see you have optional pre-marriage classes, can you tell me more?

We always request that the couple, however long they have been together, come to preparation sessions. There are issues that those who have never married may need to think about. For those already living together the ceremony can signal the beginning of a new phase in their relationship and it is good to reflect on things that have happened in the past before the beginning of the new chapter. If someone has been divorced previously, this is a great time to learn from the past and be able to move on in a positive way.

The sessions are interactive (meaning it is more of a discussion) and explore the meaning of marriage.

The sessions are as follows:

  • Session 1: The roles of the man and woman and how they interact under God.
  • Session 2: The meaning of the vows.
  • Sessions 3 and 4: A look at topics the couple may find help eg. conflicts, decision making, working with budgets, for example.

How does the church approach marriages where one or both parties have been divorced?

This has changed over the last twenty years. Local church policy now influences whether or not the minister will marry a divorced person. The parish priest has permission to consider each case on its merits.

When the couple sits down to talk with the priest, together they will explore the reasons and causes of any previous marriage breakdowns. The priest is keen to see that the couple understand why a previous marriage ended and what needs to be done to avoid similar mistakes in the future. This is done to protect the new marriage. The priest asks the couple if they have both considered the past, forgiven when necessary and feel they are in a good place to move into a new relationship.

Are there any opportunities to meet with the minister some time after the wedding?

The minister is always keen to know how couples have got on after their big day and as a church we would be delighted to welcome you at services. Alternatively, if couples prefer to meet the minister in confidence, then appointments can be made through the parish office.