As reported in August 2019, the way in which marriages will be registered is about to change.

Regulations under the Civil Partnerships, Marriages and Deaths (Registration etc) Act 2019 were laid before Parliament on 22 February 2021 and are due to come into force on 4 May 2021. We have yet to see the Regulations but wanted to alert you to this change as soon as possible.

Please see the General Register Office Clergy Newsletter Issue 10 at this link for further information:

A summary of the changes is listed in the Newsletter, however, we set out below the key changes you need to be aware of:

Marriage Document

Marriage Registers and Certificates will no longer be used in churches. Instead, something called a ‘Marriage Document’ will be issued to the couple by members of the clergy following usual ecclesiastical preliminaries (Banns, Common Licence or Archbishop’s Special Licence). A ‘Marriage Schedule’ will need to be obtained for those marrying by Superintendent Registrar’s Certificates.

Following the wedding, the couple will be required to arrange for the Marriage Document or Schedule to be delivered to a Civil Registrar’s Office. The marriage will then be registered in a new electronic marriage register and a Marriage Certificate will be available for purchase from the local registration district or General Register Office.

Failure to take the Marriage Document to be registered could result in a summary conviction and fine.

Parents’ Details

It will be possible for the names of both parents of the bride and groom to be recorded in the marriage entry rather than only the fathers’ details.


As indicated in the newsletter, the GRO will provide training materials and instructions for the new procedures. There will also be an opportunity to attend a Q&A session with the GRO. Please check your emails regularly so that you do not miss the information.

Please alert your colleagues, parish or weddings administrators and others to the forthcoming changes.

We will send further information via the Diocesan e-news and other means as soon as it is available.

Darren Oliver | Diocesan Registrar

Sara Leader | Registry Manager

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