- If either prospective bride, groom – or both – live in the parish
they normally qualify automatically to be married in the parish church.
- In this Benefice there is special order in place that allows for a resident of either parish to be married in the other parish. So a parishioner resident in Icklesham has a right to be married in Winchelsea parish and vica-versa.
The law also makes it possible for a couple to marry in a church away from where they live because it has special significance for them through family or other connections.
A couple need to show that one or both of them has one of the ‘Qualifying Connections’ that are listed below.
A person has a Qualifying Connection with a parish if:
- was baptised in the parish. (This does not apply where the baptism formed part of acombined service of baptism or confirmation); or
- had his or her confirmation entered in a church register book of a church or chapel in the parish; or
- has at any time had his or her usual place of residence in the parish for at least 6 months; or
- has at any time habitually attended public worship in the parish
for at least 6 months
(This qualifying connection can be established during the period between booking a wedding and the start of calling of banns. – ‘habitually’ would normally mean attendance at the Sunday morning service at least once a month); or
- a parent of that person has at any time during that person’s lifetime:
- had his or her usual place of residence in the parish for at least 6 months; or
- habitually attended public worship in the parish for at least 6 months; or
- a parent or grandparent of that person was married in the parish.
In all cases involving church services – i.e. coming to/going to/attending normal church services, baptism, confirmation or marriage – this applies only to Church of England services.