Collection

Places of religious worship and the solemnisation of marriages

This series brings together documents about places of religious worship and the solemnisation of marriages.

Information on applying for building registration for the solemnisation of marriage, providing relevant updates and notifying of disuse.

Application process

The Places of Worship Registration Act 1855 and the Marriage Act 1949 provide for a building (or room(s)) used by a religious congregation to be registered for religious worship and the solemnisation of marriages. The building (or room(s)) may be registered for the solemnisation of marriages between a man and a woman, between same sex couples or both.

Applications are made to the superintendent registrar of the registration district where the building is located, and then forwarded to the General Register Office to be recorded.

A certificate of registration is then returned to the applicant.

A guidance leaflet fully explaining the process for registering a building is available in this series, as are the application forms.

Once a building has been registered, the trustees or governing body have certain responsibilities of updating the General Register Office with any changes to the building that may affect the registration.

You can view a compilation of questions that have been frequently asked by trustees or the governing body.

Cancellation of registration for the solemnisation of marriages

If the proprietor or the trustees of a building want its registration for the solemnisation of marriages of same sex couples to be cancelled, they must complete the appropriate application form. This form is sent to the superintendent registrar of the district where the building is located and forwarded to the General Register Office who will cancel the registration.

A building’s registration for the solemnisation of marriages between a man and a woman may not be cancelled unless the building is no longer used by the congregation for the purposes of public religious worship and a notice of disuse has been submitted to the superintendent registrar.

Notice of disuse

When a congregation stop worshipping in the registered building, a form to disuse the building needs to be completed.

This form is sent to the superintendent registrar of the district where the building is located and forwarded to the General Register Office who will cancel the registration. This cancellation will be advertised in both the London Gazette and the district’s local newspaper.

Documents

Published 19 October 2011