Holy Matrimony

If you are thinking of getting married, either at St Bartholomew’s, or in another Parish yet you live within St Bartholomew’s Parish, please contact one of the Parish Clergy.


I want to get married in the Catholic Church but my fiancé(e) is not Catholic

A Catholic can marry anyone of any religion or of no religion,as long as they are free to marry. The priest who is dealing with your marriage papers will be able to explain all this, will gather paperwork for both parties, arrange for Pre-Marriage instruction and apply for any Permissions or Dispensations.

No date should be set for any future marriage where there is a previous marriage involved (religious or civil). Once the party concerned is found to be free, then the future marriage can be arranged.

Paperwork required is as follows: For a Catholic: An up-to-date baptismal certificate; Evidence of Confirmation (if Confirmed) and Evidence of freedom in the form of a Statutory Declaration of Freedom.

For a baptised member of another denomination: A copy of their baptismal certificate (it does not have to be an up-to-date copy- as requested for Catholics – other denominations do not annotate registers as is the practice in the Catholic Church) and

Evidence of freedom in the form of a Statutory Declaration of Freedom. A party who is not baptised will need to prove freedom in the form of a Statutory Declaration of Freedom as it will be the only official document they can supply.

Forms for Declarations of freedom will be supplied by your parish priest.

N.B: The Diocesan guideline is that six months notice should be given to parishes about marriages, to give sufficient time for paperwork and pre-marriage instruction to be completed.

I want to get married in the Catholic Church but, although I was baptised Catholic I am not a regular Church-goer

This should not be an obstacle, but there are great demands upon priests from couples wishing to marry in their churches and priority would sometimes have to be given to active parishioners. However, not being a fully practising parishioner would not exclude you from being allowed to marry in the Catholic Church.

I want to get married in the Catholic Church but I don’t want to get married in my local parish

Not a major difficulty. The problem might be in finding a parish where the priest is able to accommodate you, in that his priority would be his own parishioners. The paperwork would normally have to be dealt with by the priest in your home parish, but as long as the required permissions (where necessary) are granted by the appropriate Chancery, there should not be a difficulty.

I want to get married in the Catholic Church but I would like to get married overseas (in France, Spain, Italy etc.)

Contact should be made with your desired place of marriage and confirmation sought from the priest regarding place and date. You should also approach your local parish (in this country) and the priest will gather your paperwork and give / arrange for Pre-Marriage instruction. Completed papers will be sent to the Chancery Office for granting and then on to the Diocese of marriage for stamping and forwarding to the parish of marriage.

Where can we do a marriage preparation course and what does it involve?

If you are marrying in the Catholic Church no matter where in the world, the priest will want you to have attended a marriage preparation course. This is to ensure that you have understood and agreed to the solemn promises that you will both be making before God, and to equip you to grow in your love and commitment to each other even if you encounter challenges. The Department for Pastoral Affairs has information about the marriage preparation courses that are available in the Diocese and can offer advice should you need it. Please follow the link on the Diocesan website for the Department of Pastoral Affairs/Marriage Preparation for further information and resources.