Welcome and introduction
Approaching the Vicar and fixing the date
This is obviously a key first step. The Vicar can be contacted on 01434 688196 every day except Monday. There are a number of matters he will wish to discuss with you, including the reading of the banns.
Reading the banns: This is a legal requirement for most Church of England marriages. The banns are an announcement in church of your intention to marry. They must be read in the parish where each of you lives, and also in the church where you intend to be married. This has to happen on three Sundays during the three months before the wedding. As it is rather a special occasion, you may wish to ensure you can be in church on these occasions, and you may wish to invite some of your family to be there too.
Once these important preliminary matters are complete and the date fixed, then you will wish to consider the following matters:
Flowers: Our churches have flower coordinators, who can be contacted through the relevant churchwarden. They are always willing to discuss whether you would like to bring in a florist of your choice, or whether you would prefer to pay for flowers to be arranged by people on our Church flower rota. If your own florist is attending to the decoration of the Church, they will make any necessary arrangements for the appropriate Church to be unlocked.
Fees: Click here to see the list of statutory fees set by the Church of England. In addition, there will be local fees for items such as the organist, and the services of a Verger.
Music: Do you wish one of our Church organists to play at your Wedding? We cannot guarantee their availability, but if they are able to assist, their is a fee, which they usually donate to the Church. In general, the organists like to discuss the choice of music and hymns with you. A list of suitable wedding hymns for your consideration can be seen by clicking here. If you wish music to be played through a cassette or DVD, it is helpful if you can ensure that you have someone who is able to operate the equipment on the day.
Confetti: We ask that you do not throw confetti in the Churches, and that only bio-degradable confetti or natural flower petals are used outside.
Wedding rehearsal: This is fixed to suit the convenience of the main participants at the ceremony and the Vicar. A full run through of the Service will take place, and explanations about signing registers will be given. If you are printing Orders of Service, it is helpful if they can be available at the rehearsal. A Warden will also usually attend, to understand fully your wishes for the day.
Seating arrangements for the ceremony: It is helpful at the rehearsal stage to also give thought to how many pews at the front of the Church that you wish to have reserved for family, and whether it will be necessary to use the choir pews. If you have disabled guests, there will also be an explanation of how they can be accommodated.
Parking: The availability of adjacent parking at Henshaw at weekends is not usually a problem, as it is usually possible to use the school car park next door to the Church by prior arrangement with the school secretary, telephone number 01434 344324 However, at Beltingham, this is a really significant issue, and we normally ask that you make arrangements to bring people to the Church by small mini buses. If you do need parking at Beltingham, the Warden will be pleased to advise about how this can be arranged. The farmer, Mr Stuart Furlong, may be willing to make available a field near the Church for a charge. He can be contacted on 01434 344531. In Haydon Bridge, there is parking in Church Street, or adjacent streets.
Toilets: There is a toilet just inside the main door of the Church at All Hallows’, Henshaw. There are no toilet facilities at Beltingham or at Haydon Bridge and no drinking water is available. However, at Haydon Bridge, the Railway Inn on the opposite side from the church are willing to allow churchgoers to use their toilets.
Arrangements for babies: There is a Parish Room at All Hallows’, Henshaw, just inside the main door, where buggies can be left. At Beltingham and at Haydon Bridge, the Warden will attempt to make suitable arrangements for buggies.
Numbers attending: All Hallows’, Henshaw can seat 120 people. St Cuthbert’s at Beltingham can seat 100 people by using the choir stalls and a small number of additional seats can also be provided near the altar to accommodate up to 110. In Haydon Bridge, the church can accommodate 200 people. It is helpful if you can give an early indication of likely numbers, so that an appropriate number of Wardens and Deputy Wardens can be on duty to assist.
Health and Safety and Fire arrangements: All of our Churches are surrounded by burial grounds with old headstones. These are regularly checked, and we also seek to ensure so far as is reasonably practicable that there are no other hazards likely to cause injury or harm. Nevertheless, parents of young children should be made aware that they are responsible for their children’s safety whilst on Church premises. In the unlikely event of a fire at the ceremony, the Wardens on duty will ensure safe evacuation of the premises. The assembly point for All Hallows’ at Henshaw is in the lane at the side of the Church, and at St Cuthbert’s in Beltingham, it is in the lane by the postbox in the Old Vicarage wall. In Haydon Bridge, the assembly point is the Churchyard. In the event of anyone needing to summon emergency vehicles, the postcode for All Hallows’ in Henshaw is NE47 7EN, St Cuthbert’s in Beltingham, it is NE47 7BZ and for St Cuthbert’s in Haydon Bridge it is NE47 6SG. Haydon Bridge Old Church is NE47 6NB.
Photography: The Vicar will let you know at the rehearsal how photography and videoing can be managed.
You can find more useful information on the website, www.yourchurchwedding.org
The short video below shows the interior of All Hallows Church, Henshaw, to give you an idea of the setting for your wedding if you have not seen it before.