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Getting Married in a Methodist Church

Usually as a couple wishing to get married you should approach the Methodist Minister of the church at which you wish to be married. This would normally have to be in the civil registration district in which you live.

Marriage preparation is provided at a local level by one of the Ministers from a local Circuit. The best route is to start making links with the Minister most likely to conduct the wedding. As part of the legal process, prospective marriage partners need to go to the local registry office and there you will be given a copy of a book called 'Married Life', which is a helpful resource for people thinking about the implications of getting married.

There is also an ecumenical website about marriage preparation.

Divorce and Remarriage

The rules and laws relating to divorce are not made by the church but rather by the State. If you need advice and clarification on your particular circumstances, please contact the local minister or the Superintendent Minister of the Methodist Circuit where you live. You will find to an email link to your local Superintendent Minister on the relevant Circuit page on this website.

The Methodist Church is generally willing to marry people who have been divorced, while their previous spouse is still alive, as long as there are not major obvious reasons why it would be inappropriate to do so. There are a very few Ministers who will never marry someone who has been divorced, but such a minister will refer you to a Minister who is willing to marry divorced people. The local Minister will be able to explain the legalities about going to the registrar for a certificate and so on.

The Methodist Church does not argue that the grounds for divorce should be changed from the present ones. We would certainly encourage any couple going through difficulties in their relationship to seek advice, counselling and support to see if they can rebuild it. We would also expect people to take very seriously their responsibilities to any children of the marriage.

Non-Methodist Members

You do not have to be a member/s of the church in order to marry in church, but most Ministers will ask you why you wish to marry in church if you are not. A church marriage is a solemn Christian ceremony, with prayers and Bible readings reflecting Christian understandings of what marriage is about. So, whilst people wishing to marry in a Methodist church do not need to be church members, most Ministers will look for a genuine desire on the part of a couple to take their marriage seriously along the lines set out in the service. Discussing what this means in practice will be part of the marriage preparation.

Different Denominations

Many couples marrying in Methodist churches include people from different Christian denominations. Where two people from different church traditions marry, it is quite common for a Minister from both churches to take part in the ceremony. This is welcomed. Sometimes, people from different faiths marry - and there is advice available for such.


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