Every marriage is slightly different because each couple is different. At Farnham United Reformed Church you are welcome to shape the Wedding Service to suit you, under the guidance of the Minister. The most important thing to remember is that planning a wedding takes time – at the outset you need to book the church and begin to make arrangements for the service.
We are very happy to receive enquiries from those married previously, because we believe Christianity is about forgiveness and second chances, but where people are not already known to us we may make some enquiries about the circumstances, but in most cases we will be happy to offer a church wedding.
We are not currently allowed to perform same-sex marriages or blessings in the church, but our Minister is willing to perform blessings in another venue.
We would advise you to book the church in conjunction with your reception venue and to discuss timings with us, rather than making any assumptions about our availability.
We welcome enquiries from members of other churches looking a venue in Farnham, and we are happy to discuss involving your Minister in the service, but we prefer to operate on the basis of a wedding in this building being a service of our church, rather than simply hiring out the venue.
The church has a seating capacity of 180 downstairs, and 60 in the gallery, although it is cleverly designed so that a congregation of 50 do not rattle around. There are two side aisles, but no centre aisle. Most couples come in on the left-hand side, and out on the right-hand side. There is a fine pipe organ and a grand piano. We will normally provide an organist or pianist, but you are welcome to make alternative arrangements.
Provision for Disabled People
There is ramped access to the building for wheelchair users and accessible toilet facilities. There is a dedicated wheelchair space at the front to one side. There is a loop system for people with impaired hearing.
We are allowed to perform marriages for people who live in the Registration District (which is the administrative county of Surrey), or people for whom this church is their “usual place of worship”.
The legalities of marriages in this church, as for all churches other than the Church of England, require those intending to be married in Farnham United Reformed Church to apply to the local authority Registrar in the Registration district where you live. If you live in separate Registration districts, you will need to apply at each Register Office. Your Country Council/Unitary Authority is responsible for the administration of this.
The certificate that the Registrar issues is valid for one calendar year from that date on which you give notice (e.g. if you give notice on 4 October 2018, the certificate will be valid until 3 October 2019). It takes up to a month for a certificate to be issued, so you must apply well before the wedding date.
The Registrar’s certificate is only valid for a wedding in a particular building. Therefore, you must tell the Registrar that you intend to marry at “The United Reformed Church, South Street, Farnham, Surrey” and give the registered number of the building, which is no. 8000.
We are not currently allowed to perform marriages of same sex couples.
Wedding Fees for 2018
Total basic fees for the service, including organist: £520.
For weddings before 4.00 pm on Mondays-Fridays, or before 2.00 pm on Saturdays, the church Coffee Shop needs to be closed, for which there is an additional charge of £200 to compensate for loss of income.
For all weddings where neither the bride nor groom has a home address in a GU postcode area, and none of the bride, groom, their children, parents, or grandparents is a Member of Farnham United Reformed Church, we reserve the right to double the total fees, because of increased administration.
If you are having a professional video recording you must tell us as soon as you decide this, and we reserve the right to increase fees because of both performing rights and increased inconvenience.
Once a date has been fixed, a non-returnable deposit of £200 should be paid immediately. Until a deposit is paid, any booking will be regarded as provisional. All other fees should be paid in full at least a month before the wedding. We are happy to agree payment in instalments if this is easier for you. We accept cash, cheques, and direct bank transfer. Returned cheques will incur an administration fee as charged by our bank, and future payments must be made in cash or direct bank transfer.
What’s the procedure?
After your initial enquiry, you should expect three meetings with the Minister. These can either be at the church, or at your home if you live in a GU postcode area. The first meeting will be to gather some details and to confirm that everyone knows what’s going on; the second to plan the service in some detail; and the third a rehearsal, also involving some of the other participants. The first meeting will be as soon as practicable after an initial enquiry, the second meeting about three months before the wedding, and the rehearsal, involving all the major participants, a day or two before the wedding.
If you are using a wedding planner you need to tell us when you are booking, or as soon as you engage them if that is after you book. You also need to be clear with us whether we make arrangements with your wedding planner or with you.
You are welcome either to have the flower arrangement which will be in church for the Sunday service, or to employ a professional florist. If you employ a florist they will need to work within our guidelines.
Worship at Farnham United Reformed Church
Sunday Services are a good way to get a feel for the Church, and to meet the Minister.
10.30am Morning Worship
6.30pm Evening Worship
To take it further, please contact the Minister:
The Revd. Michael Hopkins
01252 711359 or 0771 640 9350