This is being relaxed from 1st October, and here are the new criteria:
The changes will mean an engaged couple are welcome to be married in church in a parish if just one of these applies:
- one of them was baptised or prepared for confirmation in the parish;
- one of them has ever lived in the parish for six months or more;
- one of them has at any time regularly attended public worship in the parish for six months or more;
- one of their parents has lived in the parish for six months or more in their child’s lifetime;
- one of their parents has regularly attended public worship there for six months or more in their child’s lifetime;
- their parents or grandparents were married in the parish.
(All of these refer to Church of England services)
So it's not a free for all, but does increase substantially the number of people eligible to get married at any particular parish church. It'll be interesting to see what effect is has.
We're in the process of booking space for a church stall at a local wedding fair, by coincidence a few days after the deadline, so that will be a good way of making people aware of the changes.