Father Richard Seabrook

Church of England

"I promise to obey…"

Q. What is your interpretation of the vow ‘to obey’?

A. To enter wholeheartedly and without reservation in the marriage bond. Obey does not mean to do obeisance. Just as we listen to God and obey him, so in marriage we should be prepared to listen to our spouse and sacrifice our own wishes in certain situations for the good of the marriage bond.

My church has been sold!

Q. My partner and I are hoping to be married in our local Catholic Church which I have attended for the last 13 years. However the Church has recently been sold to Church of England nuns and has been de‐registered for marriage ceremonies. What is the position should we wish to have our local parish priest marry us in this Church?

A. I don’t think this will be possible. A Church of England church has to be licensed for marriage before a marriage can take place. You wouldn’t be able to have a Catholic priest marry you in a Church of England church.

Must we be baptised?

Q. Both of us want to marry in the parish church, but neither of us have been baptised. It says on the Church of England website that we can get married in our parish church irrespective of whether we have been baptised and indeed irrespective of whether we regularly attend church. What is our position? Is it a ‘right’ that we can get married in our parish church? I’m petrified he’ll say no, as it would mean so much to us both to marry there.

A. Baptism does not affect your right to get married in your parish church.

Combination wedding / christening

Q. Is it possible to arrange for the Christening of my six‐month‐old child at the same time as the wedding?

A. Yes, you could organise a combined service.

Our various celebrants may offer very different answers to the same questions, not only because of the religious tradition they follow, but because they have their own personal views too ‐ religious questions don’t necessarily have a right or wrong answer!

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