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Turville Fingest Frieth Fawley Medmenham U.R.C.


Dear Wedding Enquirers,                        

Congratulations on your decision to get married.                        

We are glad that you would like your wedding to be conducted in one of the six, beautiful churches of the Hambleden Valley.  Please read the following so that we can help you through the processes involved.                        

Weddings in the Church of England are governed by both Civil and Canon Law, and so we have to be sure that certain procedures are followed as we respond to your request.                        

First: we have to ascertain whether and how you might be eligible for a wedding in that particular parish. For this, there are now the following Qualifying Criteria, of which you will need to meet at least one:                        

1)      One or both of you lives, or has lived in the parish for at least six months, or:

2)      Your parents live, or have lived in the parish for at least six months during your lifetime;

3)      One or both of you has been a regular worshipper in the parish for at least six months, or:

4)      Your parents have worshipped in the parish for at least six months during your lifetime;

5)      One or both of you was baptised or prepared for confirmation in the parish;

6)      Your parents or grandparents were married in the parish.                       

If you do not already meet one or more of these criteria, we would welcome you to attend worship in the Hambleden Valley Churches in order to qualify; but you will have to complete at least six months’ regular attendance (of at least one worship service per month), and then we will be able to call your banns of marriage. You will be given an attendance-log sheet, which must be signed by the churchwarden or one of the sidespeople at the church, and returned to us just prior to the calling of your banns. Calling the banns may take over a month, and must also be read in the parish church(es) where you live. If you want to know which your parish church is, go to and search using your postcode.

For details of services taking place, for attendance or banns,
So qualifying by attendance may well be a possibility for you. It also means that we get to know you, and you get to know the place, and the community that is praying for you; which all adds to the day itself.

However, if there is no impediment, but you cannot qualify in any of the above ways, it may be possible to obtain a Common Licence for the wedding from the Diocese of Oxford (the fee is in the order of £200).                        

Whichever way you may qualify, there needs to be a brief interview with the Rector or Associate Priest, at which we will need to see Birth Certificates, Driving Licences/Passports and Recent Utility Bills.

If either of you has had a divorce, its circumstances and effects must be discussed in confidence, and the decree absolute must be seen as well. There are pastoral criteria for allowing remarriage.                        

PLEASE NOTE: If either of you does not have E.U. nationality/passport, the wedding can only take place after qualifying criteria have been established, and then you must obtain either a Special Licence, or a Superintendent Registrar’s Certificate, which could take a further 70 days.                       

We are very conscious that a wedding takes a huge amount of planning and organisation, not least in preparing for the Church service itself. We have decades of experience here, and we look forward to working with you in those preparations, and are happy to answer your enquiries.                        

For this purpose, we organise two or more Wedding Preparation Days each year, and you will be invited to one of these. These events are invaluable in the process of preparing your wedding, and of preparing yourselves for marriage. They offer clarification of many issues, the chance to meet and chat with other wedding couples, and a rare opportunity to relax and reflect on the future. We cannot compel you to attend, but we do strongly recommend that you join us for one of these greatly appreciated days.


To find out more about our availability, and how to proceed, please email:


There is a long-established, tried and tested Order of Service that we use in the Hambleden Valley, which gives flexibility for your personal choices, and focuses on the Marriage Vows and Declarations, which are both legally binding, and spiritually profound.

It has an elegant simplicity that allows you, and your family and friends, to relax and enjoy the ceremony; so we keep to this order rather than any of the variations you may see elsewhere. We present it to you at this stage to prevent any confusion in your early planning and preparation:  

# Bridal Procession    Priest leads Bride and Escort from door to Chancel              Appropriate music 

Welcome                    Priest greets everyone informally and gives helpful notices

Introduction              Formal words of welcome and opening prayer 

# First Hymn               Couple, Attendants and congregation all standing     

Preface                       Reminders of the spiritual and personal importance of this event

Declarations               Your free and solemn intentions to marry

Vows                           You promise lifelong commitment

Giving of Rings           One or two – blessed, given and received

Proclamation             Priest declares you to be husband and wife

Blessing                       First prayer and blessing of the newly-weds 

[# If you would like three hymns, the second should go here.] 

Collect                         A prayer to gather our thoughts

Readings                     Non-scripture if desired (to be seen before please), then Scripture

Sermon                       A brief word of Christian wisdom and encouragement 

# Second [or Third] Hymn     Priest leads Couple to Sanctuary Step

Final Prayers              For the Couple in their new life together

Lord’s Prayer              Usually the ‘Traditional’ version

Final Blessing              From before the Altar for Couple and Congregation 

Signing of Register    In appropriate part of Church, while music plays 

# Recession                 Couple leads Bridal Party out of Chancel                               Appropriate music 

Most couples like to design and produce their own keepsake order of service, and the order above is a good guide for the interior layout. For simplicity’s sake, the side-headings in bold are sufficient to mark the progress of the service; # simply marks where your approved choice of hymn or music is made, which should be detailed; the full lyrics of your chosen hymns can be included* as might the Lord’s Prayer. Approved non- and Scripture readings should be referenced and their readers named.

Regarding copyright, the Hambleden Valley Churches pay the main Christian Copyright Licensing organisation (CCLI) for the right to have words only printed in Orders of Service used in public worship. This applies to most of the most popular hymns and worship songs used in weddings, funerals and Sunday worship. There are other well-known lyrics, still in copyright, that are not covered by CCLI; their copyright holders are listed in a supplement that we can make available to you, and you would have to apply for a one-off licence for each of those. Any hymn or worship song that we sing from the churches’ official hymnbooks are automatically covered.

Regarding recorded music, The Hambleden Valley Churches’ licences and agreed policy do not allow for any form of recorded or transmitted music to be played. However, we do have an exceptional organist and choir, who will happily play and sing all manner of appropriate music for the joyful and solemn occasions we celebrate in our churches. We hope this will clarify the musical options available, and that you will find thoroughly enjoy the service we are holding for you.


C of E Wedding Fee

Calling of Banns

Marriage Certificate


Heating (Oct to March)

Organist *

Choir *

Bells (Hambleden and Turville only) *

* optional items










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