Rev Andrew Parker will be happy to discuss your wedding service thoughts with you. His contact details are 01298 23556 and firstname.lastname@example.org
To those considering marriage, the Methodist Church offers the following guidelines:
What is the first step?
Usually a couple wishing to get married should approach the Methodist Minister of the church at which they wish to be married.
As part of the legal process, prospective marriage partners will need to go to the local registry office and will be given a copy of a book called ‘Married Life’, which is a helpful resource for people thinking about the implications of getting married. The Methodist Church produced a Christian Preparation for Marriage report in 1998. There is also an ecumenical website about marriage preparation.
One of us is divorced. Is that OK?
The rules and laws relating to divorce are not made by the church but by the State. Methodist Church House is not in a position to offer advice on couples’ pastoral situations. The best advice is to speak to the local minister or the superintendent minister of the circuit where you live.
The Methodist Church is generally willing to marry people who have been divorced, while their previous spouse is still alive, as long as there are not major obvious reasons why it would be inappropriate to do so.
Does one of us have to be a Methodist?
People wanting to marry in church don’t have to be members of the church, but most ministers will ask them why they wish to marry in church. A church marriage is a solemn Christian ceremony, with prayers and Bible readings reflecting Christian understandings of what marriage is about. Whilst people wishing to marry in a Methodist church do not need to be church members, most ministers will look for a genuine desire on the part of a couple to take their marriage seriously along the lines set out in the service. Discussing what this means in practice will be part of the marriage preparation.
What if we are from two different denominations?
Many couples marrying in Methodist churches include people from different Christian denominations. Where two people from different church traditions marry, it is quite common for ministers from both churches to take part in the ceremony. This is welcomed. Sometimes, people from different faiths marry — and there is advice available for such marriages.
So, Rev Andrew Parker is a good first point of contact for you and will welcome your call.