Occasional Offices and Pastoral Care

The latest guidance on funerals, baptisms and weddings is on our main Coronavirus page. Funeral and bereavement resources for clergy are available here.


Background to Common Licences

Weddings can take place in church from 4 July 2020.

The usual course is for a couple to marry after banns have been called and in many cases this should still be possible once public worship resumes. However, in the current circumstances not all churches are open for public worship which means banns cannot be called in those places. In addition some couples are looking to marry at short notice.


For couples intending to marry by common licence the procedure is as follows:

After approaching the officiating minister to ensure a qualifying connection to the church in which they wish to marry is established, the couple should make an appointment with their local surrogate with the following:

  • Proof of their Qualifying Connection to marry in the chosen church;
  • Current photographic (passport / driving licence) and address (utility bill / bank statement dated within the last three months) identification;
  • Evidence of freedom to marry (if either party has been married before, for each party); and
  • A statement that sets out whether they have been baptised in the Church of England (for each party)

When the surrogate has sworn the necessary papers and forwarded them to the Registry a Common Licence will be produced. It is requested that the Registry is given as much notice as possible to prepare the Licence.

Fees for Common Licences

The set fee is made up of two elements:

  • £148 Registry fee
  • £52 Surrogate fee.

For licenses issued until the end of July 2020, the Registry element of the fee be reduced to £100 as it is recognised that there are many who wished to get married during the period of lockdown but were unable to. The surrogate fee remains at £52.

The fee is further reduced for those couples for whom the calling of banns was complete but could not marry because of the lockdown or who have to marry by Common Licence because the church where their banns are to be called is not open for public worship. The Registry element of the Common Licence fee for these couples will be £44. The surrogate fee remains at £52.

A list of clergy surrogates is on the Registry section of the website, along with contact details for the Registry should you need to discuss further.

Pastoral Care

We encourage people to look out for their isolated and vulnerable neighbours and maintain contact with them where possible. Organised visits which are part of official church activity (ie not informally as above) where handling money, delivering food or offering services are involved should be done by DBS-cleared volunteers. There's more info on that here.

Page last updated: 2nd July 2020 10:16 AM