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We are delighted you are getting married and that you are considering doing so at one of the churches in the Winslow Benefice.

We want to support you both for your wedding day and for the whole of your married life. We do this by meeting you and getting to know you to talk about the wedding ceremony, but also to think a bit about your marriage as a whole. Generally speaking, we would like to meet with you at least three times before your wedding day. Don’t worry - these are relaxed get togethers and are often quite special as we think about you as a couple.

This wedding pack is designed to answer some of your initial questions about getting married in church, but that doesn’t mean you cannot speak to Stephen, our rector, or one of the other members of the team if you need any more information.


You're welcome to marry in church whatever your beliefs, whether or not you are baptised and whether or not you go to church. And, marrying in church has never been easier thanks to a change in the law which means you now have more churches to choose from. You can marry in a C of E Church if you can show:

That one of you:

  • has at any time lived in the parish for a period of at least 6 months, or
  • was baptised in the parish concerned, or
  • was prepared for confirmation in the parish, or
  • has at any time regularly gone to normal church services in the parish church for a period of at least 6 months, or

That one of your parents, at any time after you were born:

  • has lived in the parish for a period of at least 6 months, or
  • has regularly gone to normal church services in the parish church for a period of at least 6 months, or

That one of your parents or grandparents:

  • was married in the parish.

And did you know that if you move house, you’re immediately connected to the church there? That means you can marry in the church of your new parish.

In all cases involving church services - i.e. going to normal church services, baptism, confirmation or marriage - this applies only to Church of England services. Even if you cannot demonstrate any of the above connections, we want to help you explore whether it may still be possible for you to marry in your special church. Talk to the vicar well in advance to discuss the options open to you.


By praying - in the church we believe that God is alive, loves us and answers our prayers. So prayer is our greatest gift to you. Your church wishes you a lifetime of love that grows within God's protection. By praying, the people in your church will ask God to bless your big day and all the days after that.

By reading your Banns - Banns are an announcement in church of your intention to marry and a chance for anyone to put forward a reason why the marriage may not lawfully take place. They're an ancient legal tradition and have been read every week in churches across the land for millions of couples over centuries. After your forthcoming marriage is announced, the congregation may be invited to pray for you. It can be quite special to hear this, so do go along if you can. You’re welcome to invite family and friends to hear your banns too if you’d like.

Banns need to be read in the parish where each of you lives as well as the church in which you are to be married, if that's somewhere else. You must have them read in church for three Sundays during the three months before the wedding. This is often done over consecutive Sundays but doesn't have to be.

If there's not enough notice for the banns to be read before the marriage is due to take place, or in the case of the marriage of people whose nationality is not British, or if one or both of you do not live in England, the Common Licence procedure needs to be used. This procedure also provides an opportunity to address any doubt there may be as to the legal requirements of the home country of a non-British person regarding the recognition of an English Church marriage. (Information from Diocese of Oxford website)

The Verger – is the Church’s representative to assist with the smooth running of the wedding. They will be present throughout the wedding and are able to answer any questions you or your guests may have on the day.

By celebrating the good times - your church would love to see you and pray for you on special occasions, such as your wedding anniversary. If you have children, we would be happy to discuss their christening with you, if you feel this is something you would like to explore for them.

Rehearsals - most couples are reassured and enjoy the opportunity to rehearse their wedding service along with family and friends who will be involved. This is usually organised by the vicar as part of the preparations for your wedding.

Readings - all weddings in the Church of England include one or more readings from the Bible. There are many popular and exciting passages to consider. Some of these can be found on the Church of England website - have a read and see if any speak to you: churchofengland.org/life- events/your-church-wedding By being there during difficulties - life inevitably has its ups and downs. Churches can offer a confidential listening ear, friendship and prayer support if you need it.

By renewing your marriage vows - many couples like the idea of renewing their marriage vows to celebrate a special anniversary, or to mark the end of a difficult time. In most marriages these days, the bride and groom say the same vows to each other. It’s a ceremony that bonds you, not just in front of your family and friends, but in the eyes of God as well.


Where can we take photos?

Coming in and going out of the church and during the signing of the register, but not during the actual service. The official photographer may take others without a flash at any time.

Can the service be videoed?

A video of the full service can only be taken by a professional video company. Note that this doubles the fees for the Music Director, Choir and Organist. Amateur video can be taken coming in and going out of the Church and before/after the signing of the Register only in the Peace Memorial Chapel.

If it's raining the couple may return to the Church from the porch for photos. In this event, the verger will advise the congregation to remain seated while the main party return.

Can we have confetti?

No wedding is complete without confetti – but please keep well away from the Church door.

Do you hear bells?

Yes, we can ring the bells for you in Winslow and Gt Horwood! St Laurence has eight bells, St James’ has six.. A joyous finale to your wedding service!

What music can we have? Can we have a choir?

For St Laurence and Addington, please see Bells. For St James’ please talk with the Church Warden/Minister. All churches can provide a choir if required. AS SOON AS THE DATE FOR YOUR WEDDING IS CONFIRMED please make contact with the Music Director for St Laurence Church or the Church Wardens for St James and St Mary’s Church.

How do we order flowers

For St Laurence please see Flowers. For St James’ or St Mary's, please talk with the Church Warden/Minister about the process.

What about accomodation?

The Bell Hotel, Market Square, Winslow, MK18 3AB Tel: 01296 714 091

The Old Stables B & B 3 The Walk, Winslow, MK18 3AJ

The Grange Stables, 2 Winslow Road, Great Horwood Tel: 01296 712 051

There are several hotels in Buckingham, Aylesbury and Milton Keynes.

Is it easy to park? Are there toilets?

Winslow has two large car parks, Greyhound Lane and the Public Hall – both of these are free. There is parking in the Market Square where there is a small charge and plenty of street parking. Toilets are in Greyhound Lane car park, in the St Laurence Room and Gt Horwood Church Hall

Gt Horwood has parking on The Green next to the Church, as well as plenty of street parking. The Church has a toilet.

Addington is a small rural community and parking is usually just on the grass verge, though on occasions a field may be made available. There are no public toilets. Disabled facilities are available at Winslow and Gt Horwood. There are no steps up into the Church at Addington.

What music can we have? Can we have a choir?

For St Laurence and Addington, please see Bells. For St James’ please talk with the Church Warden/Minister. All churches can provide a choir if required. AS SOON AS THE DATE FOR YOUR WEDDING IS CONFIRMED please make contact with the Music Director for St Laurence Church or the Church Wardens for St James and St Mary’s Church.

What about the reception and catering?

Both Winslow and Gt Horwood have church halls. Winslow's even has a small paved outdoor area for warmer days! For information contact Derry French. Please talk to us if you want to know more about facilities for the reception and the catering. The Bell Hotel in Winslow also caters for wedding parties.


Again, please talk to us – there are local artists who would be happy to let you know what they can offer.


If you instruct your own florist, please note that flowers are not allowed on the altar. Please liaise with Derry French for the church availability for the florist to complete the work. Alternatively the Church Flower Group offer a wedding flower service as below.


Please note the prices below are for the arrangement options - they do not include the cost of the flowers themselves. You may choose the combination of arrangements that you prefer.


Large pedestal

Small pedestal


Altar shelf

Alternate pew ends

Total: £40 (£20 per side) £25 £20 £60 (£10 per pillar) £30 (£15 per side) £10 (ribbon only) £185

Above is the total range of options available from the Church Flower Group. Please note no flowers are allowed on the altar. These prices include the maintenance and clearing by Church personnel.

All flower arrangements by the Church Flower Group remain in Church after the wedding, except under exceptional circumstances when permission may be given. The prices quoted DO NOT include flowers, which are paid for separately.

Please contact Liz van de Poll at [email protected] to discuss your requirements as soon as possible after you have fixed your wedding date.


Ringing of bells at weddings is a long tradition that can be traced way back to the Celtic lands, where church bells were believed to have the power to ward off evil spirits and grant wishes. The tradition has spread all across the world, becoming a famous part of the modern church wedding.

Nowadays the ringing of bells is a symbol of happiness and the celebration of the couple’s new life together. The sound of bells will announce your news to the whole of the town and add an ambience of excitement to your day. If you choose to have bells on your special day, we provide:

  • If you request bells before your service we will start ringing 10 minutes before, as your guests are arriving. We will continue to ring for up to 10 minutes after the planned start time if the bride is a bit late!
  • We will ring for 20 minutes after the end of your service.

Please could you complete as much of the form below as you can and pass it back to the Church Office, Market Place, Winslow MK18 3AB, AS SOON AS YOU HAVE THE DATE FOR YOUR WEDDING CONFIRMED, so that we can ensure we have our team on duty for your day.

Please see the Money Matters page for costs.

Wedding date & time: __________________________________________________

Bride’s name: ___________________________________________________________

Address: ________________________________________________________________

Postcode: _______________________________________________________________

Email: ___________________________________________________________________

Phone number: __________________ Mobile no.: _________________________

Please delete as appropriate:

Ringing both before and after the service?

Ringing just after the service?


Winslow has a large pipe organ and a four-part choir which will be happy to sing and play on your special day.

There is a fee for this (see Money Matters) and you will need to talk with the Music Director Miss Derry French regarding all music as soon as the date of your wedding is confirmed by telephone 01296 715 185, on mobile 07808 063 402, or by email to [email protected].

The hymnbook used at St Laurence is Hymns Ancient & Modern: Hymns & Songs for Refreshing Worship.

If you do not wish to have the organ and choir, we are able to offer alternatives. The following page contains some of the most popular hymns used at St Laurence. Other music can be considered and should be discussed with Derry.

The numbers next to each of the hymns are taken from Hymns Ancient & Modern: Hymns & Songs for Refreshing Worship.


Alleluia, Sing to Jesus 422

All things bright and beautiful 533

Amazing Grace (quiet) 587

As man and woman we were made (Tune: Sussex Carol) 343

Be still for the presence of the Lord (quiet) 358

Come to a wedding (Tune: Morning has broken) 344

Dear Lord and Father of mankind (quiet) 621

Father, Lord of all creation 630

Give me joy in my heart (Sing Hosanna) 638

Glorious things of Thee are spoken 641

Guide me, O thou great redeemer 652

I, the Lord of sea and sky (quiet) 494

I vow to thee my country (quiet) 579 Jerusalem 576

Lead us heavenly Father (quiet) 702

Lord and lover of creation (Tune: Westminster Abbey) 345

Lord Jesus Christ, invited guest & saviour 346

Lord of all hopefulness (quiet) 713

Lord’s my Shepherd, The (quiet) 799 or 800

Love Divine, all loves excelling 721

Make me a channel of thy peace (quiet) 725

Morning has broken 545

O Jesus I have promised 748 (various tunes)

O perfect love 348

O Praise ye the Lord 753

Praise my soul the King of Heaven 766

Tell out, my soul, the greatness of the Lord 394

The grace of life is theirs 349

Thy hand, O God, has guided 814

We pledge to one another (Tune: I vow to thee me country) 350


Bridal March - Wagner

Trumpet Voluntary/Tune - Purcell/Clarke

Prince of Denmark’s March

Ode to Joy – Beethoven


Ave Verum - Mozart, Elgar, Byrd

Christ be beside me - Nobes

Day by day - Warren

Holy holy holy - Tchaikovsky

I am the holy vine - Andrew Moore

Look at the world - Rutter

The Lord is my shepherd - Goodall

My shepherd is Lord - Oxley

Panis angelicus – Franck

The peace of Christ be with you – Nobes

The whole bright world rejoices now - Hill

You are the peace of all things calm - Nobes


Toccata in F - Widor

Wedding March - Mendelssohn

Water Music - Handel

Nun Danket - Karg-Elert

Organ Symphony - Saint-Saens