Marriage at St Lawrence'

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

Weddings Co-ordinator

Barbara Stringer acts for both St. Lawrence, Barlow and St. Peter & St. Paul (Old Brampton). Email her here

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

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.


Wedding A

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.

Planning Your Wedding

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 lychgate. 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. 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

  • Keep in touch with the wedding co-ordinator regarding all queries and changes that need to be made to your original application
  • For a wedding when one partner lives outside the Parish, arrange for the banns to be read in their local Church of England Parish. Don’t forget to pick up the banns certificate and give it to the Minister performing the service at Barlow. The wedding can not take place without this certificate.
  • Decide if you wish to have orders of service printed. Make sure the leaflets are ready in time.
  • Contact the organist in plenty time.
  • Tell the Vicar immediately if any circumstances change.
  • Arrange for the Vicar or officiating Minister to sign form PD2 for a honeymoon passport if you are going abroad.
  • Ensure that a video operator and photographer contact the clergy for instructions.
  • Don’t forget to bring the fees for the wedding (in cash) to the rehearsal, at the latest.
  • Keep in touch with the Vicar before the wedding and make an appointment for the rehearsal.



Wedding B

Where can I get married?

  • The law entitles you to be married in the Church of England Parish Church where one or other of you lives. (Click here for details of the boundaries of the Parish of St. Lawrence, Great Barlow - zoom out to see full parish boundary)
  • You can be married in Barlow church if you can demonstrate some connection with it—for example, if you used to live in the parish, or if you were baptised here or confirmed from here, or used to attend the church. You must talk to the Vicar about this (e-mail)
  • You can be married here if you attend worship regularly for six months
  • If none of the above is appropriate for you, in certain circumstances you can apply for a Special Licence. Talk to the Rector
  • If you are marrying someone who is not a UK citizen, talk to the Vicar

What are the legal requirements?

  • You must have your banns read out in church on three Sundays during the three months before the wedding. Banns are an announcement of your intention to marry and a chance for anyone to put forward an objection. Banns also need to be read in the parish where each of you lives, as well as at the church in which you are to be married (if that is different).
  • If you are under eighteen, you need your parents’ consent in writing.
  • If one of you is are divorced, see below.

How much will it cost?

The cost of the marriage ceremony in church includes:

  • legal fees set by the state, which cover the publication of the banns, certificate of banns (if necessary), the marriage service and a certificate of marriage;
  • charges set by the church covering payment to the verger, use of the church and copyright fees.
  • a charge if you decide to have the organist
  • If you are able to give a voluntary donation towards the upkeep of the church, it is always welcome . Ask about the ‘free will’ gift envelopes that help us to reclaim tax.

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.

Fees and Charges for 2018

Banns and Marriages and Wedding Blessings

Diocese PCC Other Total
Publication of banns *
Marriage service * £201 £240
Marriage certificate *
Minimum fees £201 £343

Choir (usually)


Totals £201 £343
Added Cost:
The organist fee will be quoted for each wedding depending on which organist is available.
WEDDING ELSEWHERE requiring banns to be read in Barlow church
Publication of banns *
Certificate of banns *

Issue of additional marriage 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.

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

Download Barlow Wedding Fees here.