Assistance for Chapels / Documents / 4. Registration for Marriage

Registration for Marriage

 
1.   A chapel to be used for the solemnisation of marriage has to be registered as a place of worship.

2.   An application form for the registration of a place of worship for the solemnisation of marriages (Form 78) must be signed by a minimum of twenty householders who regard the building as their usual place of worship and then countersigned by the trustees and submitted to the local superintendent registrar.
 
3.   Registration for solemnising marriages places no obligation on chapels to solemnise same-sex marriages or host civil partnership ceremonies.
 
4.   Though registered as places for solemnising marriages, chapels have the right not to marry any man/woman couple whom they choose not to marry.
 
5.   After one year of Registration, the church can appoint a person (for example, a pastor) as the ‘Authorised Person’ to register marriages. The form can be obtained from GROCasework@gro.gsi.gov.uk or The General Register Office, PO Box 476, Southport, Merseyside PR8 2WJ. It has to be returned to the General Register Office (GRO) and notification of its being recorded has to be received by the church before the Authorised Person can commence duties. There can only be one “Responsible Authorised Person” who will be the first point of contact for the GRO, but there is no limit to how many “Additional Authorised Persons” are appointed. The GRO has to be notified of any changes to provision of Authorised Persons.
 
6.   To de-register a chapel for the solemnisation of marriages, the place would also have to be de-registered for worship by submission of a Notice of Disuse to the local superintendent registrar. Application would then have submitted for re-registration for worship alone. In the period between de-registration and re-registration the church could be obliged to pay local rates and not use the gift aid scheme.
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