There is room for everyone at St Peter's
Marriage after Divorce
We know that relationships do break down and, as we believe in forgiveness and new starts, we are open to the marriage of divorced people. At the same time the Church of England is often seen as having "the responsibility of guarding the nation's morals", if only by the editor of the Daily Mail. The bishops have therefore given us a set of rules that we have to work within. The rules are easier for us to work with if you become a regular member of the congregation.
What follows is only an outline of the rules.
The decision on whether to agree to a marriage is entirely down to the clergy.
We work together as a team and agree each case on its merits.
Under these rules we MAY be able to carry out either a marriage or a blessing ceremony (for which you would marry legally at a Registry Office) if and only if:
i) the current relationship was not a cause of the divorce
ii) your previous partner and/or children are properly provided for
iii) you are willing to discuss the factors that led to the divorce
If you want us to carry out a legal marriage ceremony (so you don't need to go to the Registry Office) we would also need you to fulfill the following criteria:
iv) One or both of you live in our parish
v) Neither of you has been married and divorced more than once
vi) You are willing to attend church regularly.
But do come and talk to us. Unlike the rules, we are human. We will outline the options and, if you want to proceed, spend some time talking with you (it's not the Spanish Inquisition; we just want to help you ensure the new marriage gets off to a good start.) We then discuss our thoughts (you are not identified) with our colleagues and advise you of our decision with suggestions for what you do for the next step along your journey.
THE PAROCHIAL CHURCH COUNCIL OF THE ECCLESIASTICAL PARISH OF SOUTH GILLINGHAM
Registered Charity Number: 1130544
The Parish Office, St Matthew’s Church, Drewery Drive, Wigmore, Gillingham, Kent ME8 0NX