St. Lawrence, Great Barlow, Chesterfield - Collage


If you are interested in getting married at Barlow, please read this document.

If either of you lives in Barlow church parish, both of you should come and see the Vicar at the Vicarage in Chesterfield, 25 Oldridge Close, Holme Hall, S40 4UF, most Tuesdays between 5 pm and 7 pm (ring 01246 558112 to check that he's not away), or at another time by appointment.

If neither of you lives in Barlow church parish, please download this form, fill it in, and bring it to your meeting with the co-ordinator / Vicar.

Planning Your Wedding


A wedding is one of life’s great moments: solemn commitment, feasting and delight. Christians believe that marriage is a gift from God and it is intended by God to be a creative relationship in which the needs of the relationship come before your own. It is based upon a solemn, public and life-long covenant between a man and a woman, declared and celebrated in the presence of God and before witnesses. The marriage ceremony gives you a new legal status as husband and wife, and a new stability within which your relationship can flourish and grow. Christians believe that marriage offers the right place for fulfilment of sexuality and that it provides the best environment for bringing up children.

Why get married in church?

By choosing to get married in church, you are acknowledging that God is involved, and accepting that God’s resources and strength are available to help you. This doesn’t mean that you will avoid all the usual ups and downs, but you know that you can look to God for guidance and sustaining love. You will also have the support and encouragement of the Christian Church family.


Where can I get married?

What are the legal requirements?

How much will it cost?

The cost of the marriage ceremony in church includes:

Only you can decide what you would like.

The fees must be paid well before the day of the wedding. Ideally, we ask you to pay in cash at the rehearsal. The fees and charges are found at the end of this section of the website.

What if one of us is divorced?

Talk to the Vicar. The Church of England teaches that marriage is for life, but it recognises that some marriages fail, and may allow a divorced person to marry again in church during the lifetime of the former spouse. The Bishop of Derby has issued guidelines to his clergy, and so the decision is a matter of judgment by Revd. Peter who will need to know about the past, your hopes for the future and your understanding of marriage. Please note that a divorced person has no right to be remarried in church, and if it’s not possible, the Revd. Peter may suggest other options such as a Service of Prayer and Dedication after a civil ceremony.

How can I change my passport name before I get married?

If you need to apply in advance for a passport in your new name, bring form PD2 from the post office to the priest who will perform the ceremony.

Planning the Wedding Ceremony

Can I choose what kind of service I want?

You can choose to have a modern language service or one in more traditional language. Either service will contain one or more readings from Holy Scripture – the Vicar will help you select the most appropriate reading. There are prayers, which you may help to choose, or you may like to write your own. It is possible for family or friends to read, or lead the prayers. There is also the opportunity to include a non-scriptural reading, and for people to make musical contributions.

When should we have a rehearsal?

A rehearsal is held in the church for the couple usually during the fortnight before the service. Contact the Vicar to arrange a convenient date and time. Please try to bring the Best Man, Bridesmaids and the person who is ‘giving away’ the Bride. You need to bring the fees, if you haven’t already paid them, and the banns certificate(s) from other churches.


The modern vows reflect the equality in the partnership. If you want traditional vows (the Bride ‘obeying’), say so. But don’t be forced. If the Bride does say ‘obey’, the Groom will promise to ‘worship’ the Bride. It’s worth pointing out that both these words, obey and worship, have slightly different meanings now than when they were first used in these services centuries ago.

Ushers and Seating

It is helpful if you provide ushers who will welcome and assist arriving guests. Ushers should be present half an hour before the wedding. It’s traditional for Groom’s family to sit on the right side of church as you walk in, behind the Groom. The family of the Bride sit on the left, with a space saved for the person ‘giving away’ the bride. However, this is merely tradition: there are no rules.

Photographers and video

It is normally possible to have a video recording of the ceremony, but please discuss this with the Vicar. Photographers should remain unobtrusive throughout the ceremony and never be behind the Vicar. Flash photography is not permitted except at the signing of the registers.The Vicar, email, or telephone (01246) 558112 or write to Revd. Peter Green at 25 Oldridge Close, Holme Hall, Chesterfield, S40 4U


One or two? It’s up to you. There are appropriate vows for whatever you decide.

Signing of the registers

This takes place in the church in the middle of the service, or at the end. After the signing the photographer will normally want you to pose for photographs. The Vicar will issue a marriage certificate which will be signed by both of you and two witnesses whom you will appoint. The witnesses must be over 18.

Length of the service

The service in church is approximately 45 minutes. Don’t be late as there may be another ceremony following yours. If you arrive late, the service may have to be shortened, or even cancelled. Please ignore the old saying that ‘a bride should always be late!’ It’s bad manners and it often leads to a restless congregation, especially if young children are present.


Your guests may throw this down by the lych gate. Please use bio-degradable confetti.

Orders of service

Some couples like to have their own orders of service printed. This would have the words of the hymns included and it maybe a good ‘keepsake’ afterwards. The church has a copyright permission licence, which will cover the reproduction of most wedding hymns – but not all, so discuss this with the priest. Please entrust your orders of service to a reliable person on your wedding day to ensure early arrival at church and that they don’t get locked in a car boot or forgotten! You don’t have to have service orders: some couples simply use the church hymn books.

What about readings ?

You can have several readings, but we recommend no more than three otherwise the service could end up being too long, two readings gives a good balance. At least one of the readings has to be from the Bible, the others could be an extract from a book, a poem, or something that has been specially prepared for you.

A few ideas for Bible readings:

John Ch. 15 verses 9 – 17 Love one another

Mark Ch. 10 verses 6-9, 13-16 From the beginning of creation

1 John Ch. 3 verses 18-end Love one another

Colossians Ch. 3 verse 12 Forgive one another

Ephesians Ch. 5 verses 21-end Be subject to one another

Philippians Ch. 4 verses 4-9 Let your gentleness be known to everyone

Ephesians Ch. 3 verses 14 –end I bow my knees before the Father

Corinthians Ch. 13 Faith, hope and love abide

Romans Ch. 15 verses 1-3, 5-7, 13 Live in harmony with one another

Romans Ch. 12 verses 1,2,9-13 Let love be genuine

Song of Solomon Ch. 2 verses 10-13; 8,6,7 My beloved speaks

What music should I choose?

Our organist will be very happy to advise you. We do encourage you to be involved in the choice of music and hymns, perhaps with the organist’s and/or priest’s advice.

Two or three hymns are enough. The list below gives suggestions but it is not meant to limit your choice. The Church Organist is Mr Brian Drury (01246 239154). In any case, choose hymns your guests will know.

Commonly chosen hymns include:

Love divine all loves excelling

Lead us, heavenly Father, lead us

Praise my soul the king of heaven

Now thank we all our God

All things bright and beautiful

Lord of all hopefulness

Dear Lord and Father of mankind

O perfect love

Amazing grace

Morning has broken

One more step along the world I go

Come down, O love divine

Immortal invisible God only wise

The king of love my shepherd is

The Lord’s my shepherd

Give me joy in my heart

Praise to the Lord the Almighty, the king of creation

Finally, some essentials / reminders

Weddings Co-ordinator

Barbara Stringer. Email here.

Index to Marriage at the Parish Church of St. Lawrence, Great Barlow

Why get married in church?
Planning the Wedding Ceremony
Fees and Charges
What music should I choose?
Some Essentials

Download our Leaflet

(Our leaflet is intended to be printed double sided on A4 size paper)

Church of England Website

There's a C of E website here which may give you further help and advice.

Fees and Charges for 2016

Banns and Marriages and Wedding Blessings

Diocese PCC Other Total
Publication of banns *
Marriage service * 189 226
Marriage certificate *

Minimum fees £189 £327

Choir (usually)


Totals with organ £189 £377
WEDDING ELSEWHERE requiring banns to be read in Old Brampton church
Publication of banns *
Certificate of banns *

Issue of additional certificate

*Statutory fees set by the Church of England or the Registrar General

The Wedding Fees are paid in cash at, or by cheque before the Rehearsal.

Please note that separate cheques should be made out for the Diocese and the PCC fees.

Diocesan cheques should be made payable to "D.B.F."

PCC Cheques should be made payable to "St Lawrence Church Barlow PCC" including the organist and verger fees.

Download Barlow Wedding Fees here.