"All that I am I give to you, and all that I have I share with you"
The West Dartmoor Benefice covers the parishes of Meavy, Princetown, Sheepstor, Yelverton and Walkhampton. If one of you lives in one of these parishes then you may get married in that church. The law has recently changed and under the Church of England Marriage Measure 2008, you can also get married in a parish church where you have one or more of the following 'qualifying connections':
(a) you were baptised in the parish;
(b) you were confirmed in the parish;
(c) your parent or grandparent were married in the parish;
(d) you have lived for at least six months in the parish, even if you have recently moved away;
(e) your parent lived for at least six months in the parish during your lifetime;
(f) you have habitually attended public worship in the parish for at least six months, even if you are no longer doing so;
(g) your parent has habitually attended public worship in the parish for at least six months during your lifetime, even if they are no longer doing so.
If you wish to be married in one of our churches, you should first arrange to see the Revd Nick Shutt who is Rector of the West Dartmoor Benefice. He will be only too pleased to discuss your forthcoming marriage with you and guide you through the service. Normally the church will arrange the entire process from the preliminaries to the marriage itself.
To help you we have answered some of the most frequently asked questions.
Are there any legal requirements?
To ensure that the marriage complies with both Church Law and UK Civil Law, there are certain aspects of a church wedding that need to be fulfilled.
You must be old enough – 16 with parents’ consent or over 18
The Banns must be read (see below)
The wedding must take place between 8 am and 6 pm on any day
I’m not baptised – does that matter?
You can get married without being baptised but we will discuss with you if you would like to be baptised prior to getting married.
I don’t normally go to church so can I still get married in Church?
God’s love and blessing is available to everyone who wishes to be married in church. In fact the service does not even require you to be a convinced follower of Jesus Christ. The significance of the service lies in the fact that the two being married take on responsibilities for their own lives by declaring solemn vows, before family and friends, and most importantly in the presence of the living God.
Which church can I get married in?
The law of England and Wales allows you to get married in the parish in which you or your fiancé(e) live - so if either of you live within the West Dartmoor Benefice (Meavy, Princetown, Sheepstor, Yelverton, Walkhampton) then you may get married in any of these churches. If you can establish a qualifying connection you may also get married in a parish church.
I've been married before - can I get remarried in church?
If either you or your fiancé(e) have been divorced, you will need to speak to the Rector before any booking can be made. Depending upon individual circumstances it may be possible to have a church wedding. If not, there is the option of a service of blessing.
I am a widow/widower - can I get remarried in church?
When are the Banns read?
Banns are an announcement in church of your intention to marry and a chance for anyone to put forward a reason why the marriage may not lawfully take place. Banns need to be read out loud in the parish where each of you live. They are usually read out on three consecutive Sundays sometime during the three months before your wedding.
Basic Information about our Churches?
Meavy (St Peter’s) is open most days. Mainly 15th century. It has a peal of 6 bells. It has a two manual Hele organ. Seats about 150. Click here to see some photos.
Princetown (United Church) is locked during the week. The St Michael’s & All Angels Anglican church was closed in 2000. Services are now held in the United Church which dates from the late nineteenth century. There are no bells. There is a piano. Seats about 50 (but can be expanded to take more). Click here to see some photos.
St Michael's Church is managed by the Churches Conservation Trust. They do allow weddings to take place but charge nearly £500 to cover their costs. This fee is in addition to the usual statutory fees.
Sheepstor (St Leonard’s) is open most days. Mainly 15th century. It has a peal of 6 bells. Modern electronic organ. Seats about 100. Click here to see some photos.
Walkhampton (St Mary’s) is locked during the week. Mainly 15th century. Peal of 6 bells. There is a two manual Hele organ. Seats about 150. Click here to see some photos.
Yelverton (St Paul’s) is open most days. Built in 1912. A large and airy church. There is one bell. It has a two manual Nicholson organ. Seats about 250 on wooden chairs. Click here to see some photos.
How much does a church wedding cost?
(Figures relate to weddings taking place in 2011; fees for weddings in 2012 will be fixed in November 2011). Please note that fees always go up on January 1st each year, and the fees payable are always those current at the date of the service. You can pay by either cash or cheque. Cheques should be made payable to the West Dartmoor Benefice fee Account.
The basic fee for a wedding is around £500, which includes the service itself, the reading of banns, the marriage certificate, the minister, the verger, a contribution towards maintenance of the church building, use of the organ and the organist.
Optional extras include the following:
BELLS (there are no bells at Princetown and Yelverton) £96 to £120
The basic fee for a service of blessing (Service of Prayer and Dedication after Civil Marriage) is around £425 - i.e. slightly cheaper than for a wedding because you are not paying for banns to be read or for a marriage certificate. You can have the same optional extras as for a wedding, at the same prices.
The fee for having your banns read if you are getting married in another parish is £34. This includes the certificate which you give to the minister conducting your wedding.
Who chooses the hymns and music?
It is your day but the Rector or other minister will help you in your choices which have to reflect your wedding is taking place in church and must be playable by the organist.
If music is requested which has to be bought in a charge will be made for this.
What about flowers?
They are your responsibility. Professional firms can be very expensive and they are often done by the family. It may be possible that some of our flower-arranging ladies would be willing to do them at cost plus a donation to church funds of at least £75.
How do I make a booking?
To book your wedding, please contact the Rector
(01822 854653 or email firstname.lastname@example.org).
For more information on Church of England marriages please click here