Thurstable and Winstree Team Ministry

serving the parishes of Tolleshunt Knights with Tiptree, Great Braxted, Copford, Easthorpe, Messing, Inworth,
Layer de la Haye, Layer Breton with Birch, and Layer Marney

The 'Layer' Parishes
Layer de la Haye • Layer Breton with Birch • Layer Marney

Wedding Information for Enquirers - 2017

If you are considering a wedding in one of our churches we hope you will find the following information helpful.

Our nine churches are:

St Luke, Tiptree All Saints, Great Braxted St Mary the Virgin, Layer Marney
All Saints, Messing St Mary the Virgin, Easthorpe St John the Baptist, Layer de la Haye
All Saints, Inworth St Michael & All Angels, Copford St Mary the Virgin, Layer Breton

Can we be married in church?

Yes, if you are a man and a woman both over 18, British or EEC citizens, not related to each other and neither of you has been married before or been in a civil partnership. If you are a foreign national, it may be possible for you to be married in church but you will need to apply for permission from a registrar. If you have been married before, it may still be possible for you to be married in church but this will depend on the circumstances.

Which church can we be married in?

By law you can be married in any church where you have a qualifying connection. You would have a connection with a church if you live in the parish or have ever lived in it for at least six months, if your parents live in the parish, if you were christened in the church, if your parents or grandparents were married there, or if you or your parents have worshipped in the church for at least six months. If you have a connection with one of our nine churches, you can choose to be married in any of them.

If you don't already have a connection with one of our churches, you would need to establish one by coming to church regularly between now and your wedding. This must be for at least six months. Please note that we will not be able to confirm your wedding booking until you have been coming for six months, although we can make a provisional booking to hold a date for you.

When can we be married?

Your wedding can take place on any day from Monday to Saturday, between 8 am and 5 pm. We are unable to offer weddings on Sundays, bank holidays, Christmas Eve or any day in Holy Week (the week before Easter).

How much choice will we have about the service?

You can choose your entry and exit music, hymns and readings. All of our churches have an organist available and some also have a choir and bells. You may bring your own choir or musicians. You will need at least one reading from the Bible but you can also choose other appropriate readings. You won't be able to make up your own vows, but you will be able to choose between traditional and modern wording.

How many people can we invite?

This depends on which church you choose. Our smallest churches at Layer Breton and Inworth can seat only 40-60 people, while our largest, in Tiptree, seats 220.

Can we bring our own minister?

If you have a friend or family member who is an ordained Church of England priest with permission from a bishop to take services, it will usually be possible for him or her to take your wedding service. Ministers of other denominations can be invited, at the discretion of the Team Rector, to preach or lead prayers, but the service must be conducted by a Church of England priest.

Will we need a registrar?

No, the church takes care of all the legal aspects of your wedding.

How much will it cost?

This will depend on which church you choose and which options eg choir, bells. Your wedding is likely to cost between £550 and £900. We won't ask you to pay a deposit, but your fees will be payable in cash in the weeks before your wedding.

What help will you give us?

If you book a wedding with us, we will invite you to our Marriage Exploration Day in the January of the year you are being married. This a full day when we give you an information pack and talk you through every aspect of your service. You will then meet with the minister taking your wedding about three months beforehand and you will have a full rehearsal in church in the fortnight before your wedding. Each church has a team of vergers who will be on hand to advise you throughout the process.

What should we do next?

If you would like to check whether a date is available or ask any other questions, please contact one of the clergy. If you don't already have a qualifying connection with any of our churches, you will need to start coming to services. You can find our service times on our website. Your next step will be to come to a wedding booking meeting to make a provisional booking (or a definite one if you already have a connection). In 2017 these are held in the office at St Luke's Church, Church Road, Tiptree. CO5 0SU between 2 pm and 3 pm on the following Saturdays:
14th January • 25th February • 11th March • 22nd April • 20th May • 17th June • 15th July • 9th September • 7th October • 11th November
Please bring your passports with you.

If you have been married before and are divorced, you will need to make an appointment to see one of the clergy rather than coming to a booking meeting. Please contact Anne-Marie or Lydia to arrange this.


We look forward to meeting you and helping you plan for your wedding day.


Page updated: 13 Jan 2017 at 16:38