Ceremonies at St Stephen's & St Leodegar's Churches

Baptisms

Baptisms are generally held during morning worship services. We do however hold private baptisms under special circumstances.

Contact:

St Stephen’s Church: Lynn Mears at stswardens@mundhamhunstonchurches.co.uk

St Leodegar’s Church: Joan Duberley at stlwardens@mundhamhunstonchurches.co.uk

Weddings

Getting Married in Our Churches

As well as the normal service we are also able to offer a couple of little extras to make your day special.

  • We have a robed choir.
  • An Organist

At St Stephen’s Church only:

  • Professional florist
  • A petal shower (colour of your choice)
  • Lanterns with candles

Select the Marriage Booklet button to download.

A Guide to Weddings at Our Churches

A wedding ceremony marks the start of a marriage, and every wedding is important – whether it takes place in Church, in a Registry Office, on a beach, or halfway up a mountain!
They all mark a public witness to the love that two people have for each other, and their commitment to one another.

However, a Church wedding makes certain themes clearer:

  • The fact that the promises are made within a supportive community provides a setting in which the marriage can be supported and sustained.
  • The Church building witnesses to the significance of love as the very reason for existence. The concept of covenant between the couple reflects the relationship between God and the world.
  • The idea of the ‘sacrament of marriage’ reflects the miracle of what God is doing in human lives as you both make the promises together in the Church.
  • Every year, hundreds of thousands of people get married in England. More than half tie the knot during a religious ceremony which, for 200,000, about a third of the total, involves the Church of England. It is the most important day in their lives.
  • Whether you are a regular churchgoer or not, getting married in church allows you to make solemn promises to the one you love, not only in front of your family and friends but also in the sight of God and with God’s blessing.
  • The Church understands marriage to be ‘a gift of God in creation and a means of his grace, a holy mystery in which man and woman become one flesh. It is God’s purpose that, as husband and wife give themselves to each other in love throughout their lives, they are united in that love, just as Christ is united in love with his Church’ 
  • ‘Marriage is given that husband and wife may comfort and help each other, living faithfully together in need and in plenty, in sorrow and in joy. It is given that, with delight and tenderness, they may know each other in love and, through the joy of their bodily union, may strengthen the union of their hearts and lives. It is given that they may have children and be blessed in caring for them and bringing them up in accordance with God’s will, to his praise and glory.’ 

Legal requirements and restrictions:

  • The ‘canon’ law of the Church of England generally reflects the law of the land. This is because a wedding service is a legal ceremony and there are therefore certain requirements that must be met.
  • The law of England provides that every person (regardless of their nationality) resident in a parish has a right to be married by banns in the parish church according to the rites and ceremonies of the Church of England. This is the case regardless of whether either or both of the couple are baptised but it is dependent on there being no legal impediment (see the section Who May Marry? below). Indeed because the Church of England is the Established church of the land, any couple, one of whom is resident in the parish, may marry in the parish church, even if one or both of them
    are members of another religion.
  • It is worth noting that the Vicar, Rector or Priest-in-charge of a parish church is not obliged to conduct a marriage herself, provided that she arranges for another Anglican clergyperson to take the service, but she must allow the parish church to be used.

Who may conduct a wedding ceremony?

  • A legal marriage in England must be solemnised by an authorised person. This means a registrar of any register office, an ordained minister of the Church of England or a minister of other religious denominations who have been legally authorised to register marriages.
  • Occasionally couples may wish for a particular member of the clergy to conduct their wedding—possible from another parish, or even another Christian denomination. This can only happen with the consent of the Rector, so please
    discuss the possibility as early on as possible.

Who may marry?

  • In the UK weddings may only take place between a couple where one partner was born male and one partner were born female. Both partners must be over the age of 16. In England or Wales, if either is under 18 a parent or legal guardian must give written permission for the marriage to go ahead.
  • If however, someone under 18 has been married and is now divorced or widowed, this consent is not needed.

When and where may ceremonies take place?

  • Weddings may take place only between the hours of 8am and 6pm.
  • All marriages must be witnessed by two people over the age of 18, both of whom must then sign the marriage register.
  • If one of your parents has lived in the parish for a period of at least 6 months, or has regularly* gone to normal church services at St Stephen`s for a period of at least 6 months since you were born.
  • If one of your parents or grandparents was married at St Stephen`s (Attending ‘regularly’ is understood to be at least once a month)

In all cases involving church services – i.e. going to normal church services, baptism, confirmation or marriage – this applies only to Church of England services.
Even if you cannot demonstrate any of the above connections, we want to help you explore whether it may still be possible for you to marry in the church of your choice.

What if one of us has been married before?

  • No one who is already married to a living spouse may marry someone else. If a person does go through a second marriage ceremony in such circumstances, the second marriage is invalid and the person is committing the crime of bigamy.
  • Widows or widowers may, of course, re-marry, either in a civil or in a religious ceremony.

Music is a very important ingredient in any act of worship—not least your Wedding Service!

Your choice of music is one of the things which makes the ceremony more personal to you as a couple, so it’s well worth taking time to listen to different pieces of music and think about what you would really like to include.

The lists which follow are intended as a guide only, and are not exhaustive, but reflect so of the more ‘popular’ choices in the last few years.
Talk to the priest officiating at your wedding if you are unsure what will be suitable (the answer is usually ‘yes’!)

MUSIC FOR THE ENTRANCE OF THE BRIDE

  • Bridal March (from Lohengrin) Wagner
  • Trumpet Tune Purcell
  • Trumpet Tune Charpentier
  • Trumpet Voluntary Jeremiah Clarke
  • The Arrival of the Queen of Sheba Handel

MUSIC DURING THE SIGNING OF THE REGISTERS

The organ is usually played while the Marriage Registers are being signed. Please speak to the Director of Music if there is a particular piece of music you require.

MUSIC FOR THE CONCLUDING PROCESSION

  • Wedding March (from A Midsummer Night’s Dream) Mendelssohn
  • Prelude—Now thank we all our God Karg-Elert
  • March (from Crown Imperial) Walton

All of the above are likely to be on the many ‘Wedding Music’ CD’s available. You can contact our Director of Music to discuss possibilities, and he will happily advise what ‘works’ on the organ and what doesn’t. It also worth remembering that the aisle at St Stephen`s isn’t very long so whatever music you choose, you won’t hear all of it!

The choice of music should be finalised with the Director of Music at least one month before the service is to take place. Music not in the organist’s possession will need to be supplied by the couple at least a fortnight in advance.

CONGREGATIONAL HYMNS

There are spaces for two or three congregational hymns, which are an important part of the ceremony as they involve everyone, rather than just the bride and groom!

The following list is offered as a guide, and based on the more popular choices. However, once again it is not exhaustive!

It is worth asking family and friends for their ideas or comments, and avoid hymns that no-one else knows….

 SOME POPULAR HYMN CHOICES

  • All things bright and beautiful
  • And did those feet in ancient time (Jerusalem)
  • Be thou my vision, O Lord of my heart
  • For the beauty of the earth
  • Give me joy in my heart (Sing Hosanna!)
  • Glorious things of thee are spoken
  • God of mercy, God of grace
  • I danced in the morning (Lord of the Dance)
  • Lead us, Heavenly Father, lead us
  • Lord, the light of your love is shining (Shine, Jesus, Shine)
  • Lord of all Hopefulness, Lord of all Joy
  • Love divine, all loves excelling
  • Make me a channel of your peace
  • Morning has broken
  • Now thank we all our God
  • O perfect love, all human thought transcending
  • O Praise ye the Lord
  • Praise my soul the King of Heaven
  • Praise to the Holiest in the Height
  • The King of love my shepherd is
  • The Lord’s my Shepherd, I’ll not want
  • Thine be the glory!

We are able to provide you with a choir if required. (We were honoured recently when we were asked to record a CD for a couple from our parish who were getting married in Canada and wanted us to be part of their special day).

What is a wedding without bells? If you would like them to be rung at your wedding then please speak with the Churchwarden (see the Contact Information). 

Please note there are no longer bells at St Leodegar’s church.

Should you decide to get married in St Stephen`s Church North Mundham we would appreciate it if you could make contact with one of the flower team. This is to make you welcome and arrange access as this church is locked. (See the Contact Information).

We have a regular flower rota and there are always two arrangements either side of the alter (except during Lent and Advent when there is nothing).

Our flower team are more than happy to do your flowers for your wedding should you wish, as is any other florist of your choice welcome.

We have structures that can be put in place for the arches and the lynch gate should you wish. We do ask for a donation to the North Mundham Church Flower Fund as these do need to be assembled.

Please get in touch as soon as you have decided and have a date so that arrangements can be made with you.

Once the number and size of the arrangements required have been discussed, the appropriate fee can be calculated.

As well as the number of arrangement, care will of course be given to matching colours where possible. It must be noted; however, that when there is more than one service on a given day it will be necessary to consult all parties involved!

Flower arrangements can be removed from the Church after the service if you wish, with two provisos:

  1. The flower arrangement/s at the front of the Church are to remain for services on the following Sunday
  2. If you wish to remove any other arrangements, it should be done immediately after the service.

Access to the building cannot be guaranteed at any other time, and is always dependent upon the availability of key-holders and other events taking place at St Stephen`s

If you wish to use decorations (ribbons etc.), please discuss this with the florist and the minister conducting your service. All decorations will need to be removed once the service is over.

As an act of Christian worship, every Church wedding should include at least one Biblical reading (from the Old or New Testament)

The biblical passage may be preceded by another reading drawn from another source, ancient or contemporary (e.g. poetry or literature).

In some cases it may be appropriate to use something written by the bride and/or groom, or a member of the family or friend – but this should be in consultation with the minister conducting the service.

If an additional reading is used, then it is recommended that there are only two hymns in the service—overlong church services don’t go down well with congregations, and weddings are no exception!

Either reading may be read by a member of the congregation, or by the bride and/or groom.

It is the responsibility of the couple to make sure that a copy of the chosen reading/s are made available to a third party if they are to read at the Service.

As well as being a legal ceremony, the Marriage Service is an act of Christian Worship and should be respected as such at all times.

Video recording is permitted strictly at the discretion of the Rector, and Churchwardens.

  1. That at all times the camera operator will act with due care and discretion befitting an act of Christian worship.
  2. That the camera operator will act strictly in accordance with the directions of the officiating priest and/or Verger/churchwarden.
  3. That NO ADDITIONAL LIGHTING will be used, and all equipment will have its own integral power supply.
  4. That recording will be made from a fixed position in Church—either from the Gallery or the front of the South Aisle—with no movement during the service, unless agreed with the churchwarden/verger.
  5. That the recording will only be used for personal viewing, and not copied for any public or commercial purposes whatsoever.

As well as being a legal ceremony, the Marriage Service is an act of Christian Worship and should be respected as such at all times.

Video recording is permitted strictly at the discretion of the Rector, and certain terms and conditions apply (see below)

You will find in this pack a copy of the Application Form for Permission to use Video Cameras in Church. Please pass the second copy of this information sheet to the Video operator, and ensure that they complete the relevant sections of the
Application Form (Full Name, Address and Telephone plus signature) before returning it to the Parish Office before the day of your rehearsal. Please note, you do not need to get the Rector’s signature before returning your form.

Usually the bride or groom will be the ‘Applicant’ and should complete the other relevant sections of the form before returning it.

The Terms & Conditions of permission being granted are as follows:

  1. That at all times the camera operator will act with due care and discretion befitting an act of Christian worship.
  2. That the camera operator will act strictly in accordance with the directions of the officiating priest and/or Verger.
    That NO ADDITIONAL LIGHTING will be used, and all equipment will have its own integral power supply.
  3. That recording will be made from a fixed position in Church—either from the Gallery or the front of the South Aisle—with no movement during the service.
  4. That the recording will only be used for personal viewing, and not copied for any public or commercial purposes whatsoever.
  5. That the responsibility for obtaining necessary copyright permission in relation to words or music so recorded rests solely with the Applicant/Operator named above.
  6. That the Applicant and Operator indemnify the Rector, Church Wardens and PCC against any third party claims arising from permission being given for recording to take place, including any claims for breach of copyright.
  7. That the non-returnable fees are paid to the Organist in respect of professional performing rights, and to the Church Council, establishing a legal relationship thereby.
    SEE TABLE OF FEES FOR CURRENT CHARGES FOR VIDEO RECORDING

The Marriage Service is familiar to many people, but here is a brief summary.

  • The couple traditionally arrive separately, the bridegroom first with his best man; and the bride, at the appointed time, led down the aisle on the arm of her father or a chosen escort.
  • The groom’s family and friends sit on the right and the bride’s on the left (numbers and available space permitting)
  • Bride and groom meet at the chancel step.
  • The priest prays for the couple and declares the purposes of marriage before asking, as the law requires, if anyone knows any reason why the marriage should not take place.
  • Next come the questions: Will you love, comfort, honour and protect…and, forsaking all others, be faithful as long as you both shall live? Each partner is asked, and each in turn answers I will. Turning to each other, bride and groom then make their vows, which although in contemporary language, have changed very little over more than 800 years. “…to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish till death us do part, according to God’s holy law.”
  • The priest blesses the wedding rings, and by exchanging their rings the couple complete their promises.
  • The priest proclaims them husband and wife and pronounces God’s blessing on them.
  • The marriage register is signed by the bride and groom, their two witnesses, and the officiating minister. The marriage is now legally complete.
  • The congregation prays for the couple, asking God’s help for them as they begin their new life together, and the congregation are dismissed with God’s blessing.

Below you will find all the necessary contact details for the key people involved in helping plan your wedding.

Vicar: Vacancy

St Stephen’s Churchwardens
Robert Leeder Tel: 07760 580044
Lynn Mears Tel: 07796 402169
Email Lynn or Robert at: stswardens@mundhamhunstonchurches.co.uk

St Leodegar’s Churchwardens
Peter Sanders & Joan Duberley
Email Joan or Peter at: stlwardens@mundhamhunstonchurches.co.uk

Musical Director and Organist
Frances Jones Tel: 07969 024426 Email: franjipan17@gmail.com

Florist
Rosemary Jenkins Tel: 01243 537475 Email: rahj54@gmail.com
Tina Tyles Tel: 01243 774361

This figure is based on a couple living at the same address, marrying in 2021, and breaks down as follows:-

Price package A

  • The fee set by law payable to the church: £464
  • Your marriage certificate: £11
  • Having your banns read at the home church: £31
  • Your banns certificate from your home church: – not required if you’re marrying in your home church £15
  • Having the organ played: £110
  • Total Cost: £689.00

Price package B

  • The fee set by law should be £464.
  • Your marriage certificate: £11
  • Having your banns read at the home church: £31
  • Your banns certificate from your home church: – not required if you’re marrying in your home church £15
  • Playing of CD`s
    Total Cost: £629.00
Extra Costs
  • Verger £25
  • Choir – Depends how many £15 each
  • Florist TBA
  • Bells £15

If you wish to have any of the above please discuss costs with the churchwarden

Something even more special
  • We are able to organise a silk petal shower (colour of your choice) which will fall after the signing of the register and making your way down the aisle. £50
  • You can also have candle lanterns which are fixed on each end of the pews. £50
  • Would you like to sit facing your guests? This can also be arranged.

Funerals

For a church funeral, please make initial arrangements with your chosen funeral director who will contact the churchwardens at your chosen church. A churchwarden will contact you to discuss the details of the ceremony and your specific requirements/wishes.

St Stephen’s Church

Contact:  Lynn Mears stswardens@mundhamhunstonchurches.co.uk Tel:  07796 402169  

St Leodegar’s Church

Contact:  Joan Duberley stlwardens@ mundhamhunstonchurches.co.uk