Registering a building of worship for marriages
Under the provision of the Places of Worship Registration Act 1855, a congregation may apply for a certified building of worship by applying to the superintendent registrar in the district where the venue is situated.
This excludes churches or chapels of the Church of England, unless they share a church building with another religious denomination.
The person who acts as minister, proprietor or trustee at the place of worship has to complete two copies of form 76 (Form for certifying a place of meeting for religious worship under the places of worship registration act 1855).
The completed Form 76 should sent to the registration office with a sketch of the floor plan identifying which rooms will be used for worship, an average weekly timetable of how the building will be used, and a cheque made payable to Sutton Council covering the statutory fee of £28.
Place of marriage
If they decide they wish the place of worship to become a place where marriages can take place, they need to complete form 78 (certificate and application for the registration of a place of religious worship for the solemnisation of marriages under sec. 41 of the marriage act 1949).
This should be dealt with if possible together with the original application for a place of worship. However it can only be requested after the date of certification of the building as a place of worship.
Form 78 requires the signatures of 20 separate householders who say that the building is their usual place of worship and that they desire it to be registered for the solemnisation for marriages. There is a statutory fee of £120.
Once the information is received at the Register Office, the information is sent to the General Register Office for authorisation. Once the General Register Office certifies a building for worship and marriage, the Register Office is required to advertise the new place of worship in the local newspaper. We then send to the applicant the certificate stating it is now a place for worship and marriage and write to them confirming this.
If the place of worship is in disuse or another minister/proprietor takes over the place of worship, form 77 (Notice of disuse of a certified place of meeting for religious worship to be given to the register general, pursuant to the places of worship registration act 1855) needs to be completed.
The process outlined above for registering a place of worship would have to be conducted again. Re-registration is not required if the building is demolished and rebuilt.
To request the required forms or for further information on this service, please contact us.