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We are very glad that you are thinking of coming to Christ Church for your marriage. In coming to Christ Church you will realise that you are not just simply choosing a delightful setting for marriage, you are committing yourself to a ceremony which expresses the Christian view of marriage. Christian marriage is a joyous celebration made before God as two people promise to live together, to love each other unselfishly and to be faithful to each other. We at the church want to do our part to help you prepare to make these promises with sincerity. As this church is a United Reformed Church Free Church, we follow the churches “Order of Service” for marriage. There are various options for you to choose from and these will be discussed with you so that you help to determine the style of your service. ‘Marriage is a gift and a calling of God, and is not to be entered upon lightly or thoughtlessly, but reverently and responsibly, in obedience to the gospel of Christ.’ Many people come to Christ Church in Haydock for their wedding because their parents, other members of their families or friends were married here. That kind of association is significant for your family and it is important for us in the church family too. Some people come to us seeking a Christian marriage having been divorced from a previous partner. The church believes strongly in the high ideals of marriage, but we also recognise that sadly, a large number of marriages fail. We believe that in welcoming those who sincerely want to make a new beginning, asking for God’s blessing on their future through Jesus Christ, we are recognising the Lord’s Ministry. You will be made most welcome to church on a Sunday, services are at 10.45 a.m. and 6.00 p.m. We try to encourage you to come to as many services as possible, so that when the final day arrives, the church is not new to you, and certainly it will not be the first time that you have walked down the aisle. We hope, of course, that you will want to continue and become a part of the fellowship at Christ Church. If, and when you have children, we will be happy to welcome them into baptism or a service of blessing, and of course, Sunday Club for children is available at the 10.45 a.m. service, and new children are always warmly welcomed. After you have been married for a year, you will be invited back for an anniversary blessing. We shall do all we can to make your marriage service a happy, relaxed and memorable occasion. It is, of course, a meaningful and sacred occasion, and the Minister will talk with you about it’s implications. 'God has given us marriage so that husband and wife may find comfort and companionship in each other, and live faithfully together for the whole of their lives.'

Where to start

If you have not already done so, please telephone the Minister in the first instance, and he will send you out and application form to get things moving. We will take some details from you and arrange an appointment for a initial interview. Until you have met with the Minister in the first instance and completed the form for a Request for Marriage, and paid a deposit of £40, all arrangements are provisional. Your first meeting will take place with the Minister at his home. This will be an opportunity to talk about your relationship and your hope for the future, and what marriage preparation at Christ Church entails. Plan to spend up to an hour with the Minister at the first meeting. A number of other interviews will be necessary to prepare you for your day. If you have them, you should bring with you, to the first meeting, a copy of your birth certificates. If either of you have been previously married, then it is helpful to bring evidence of the termination of the previous marriage (divorce certificate or spouses death certificate). Some couples like to prepare their own Order of Service. To assist you, we can offer a sample set of service orders from recent weddings. If you choose this option, we will want you to ’proof read’ your Order of Service before you go ahead with the final printing. 'God has given us marriage so that husband and wife may love and honour each other, enrich and encourage each other, and know each other with tenderness and joy.'

What you have to do next

You will need to register your intent to get married at Christ Church Haydock URC, with St Helens Registration Service. This is your responsibility and not the churches. You will need to take your birth certificates with you when you register, proof of address like a utility bill and any divorce papers if relevant. You will issued with two blue forms stating that you have been registered; these forms must be returned to the church Minister without delay once you have them. Please register at least two months in advance of your intended marriage just in case of any delays or difficulties. We cannot by law preside over your wedding without these blue forms. Notice of marriages will be operated by an appointment system only.

Please telephone:

Register Office

Central Street

St Helens

WA10 1UJ

01744 23524 or 01744 732012 between 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.

Monday to Friday God has given us marriage for the birth of children, so that they may grow up in the security and love, and come to experience the freedom of faith.

What will it all cost?

This varies from one year to the next, but you will pay the current rate determined by the date of your wedding, which currently is £400. All fees are to be paid in cash or by cheque, at your convenience, on or before the wedding rehearsal. A non-refundable deposit of £40 is payable at the first interview. Cheques should be made payable to: Christ Church Haydock URC Via the Minister who will give you a receipt. The Minister will explain to you both the actual fees of you wedding at the first interview.

Other things to consider

FLOWERS - Each weekend an arrangement of flowers is placed in the church by our members. However, if you have a special need to decorate other parts of the church, we suggest that you make your own plans (at your own expense) after consulting with our flower co-ordinator Mrs Lesley Chadwick.

CONFETTI - You welcome to throw as much confetti as you like once you are outside the church and away from the door. No confetti inside the church please. 'As we journey together, may it be looked at through a window, and see a view that is so beautiful that it can be focused on. And allow His word through the bible, to give us life in all its fullness that only comes from Him, Jesus Christ.'

SOME OTHER PRATICAL POINTS - We have a competent organist who will, whenever possible, be glad to accommodate particular musical requests. We believe that it is important that all music and Hymns played in the church should conform to the highest standards, both musically and in the words used. It is also important to pick out songs that people can sing to. The Minister will help you through this, don’'t worry.

PHOTOS AND VIDEO RECORDINGS - We understand that you will want to have a visual record of your wedding through photographs and/or video. This will help you in the future to recall a very joyful and significant occasion. The church, in principle has no objection, on the understanding that photographers will not move about or use flash photography during the ceremony itself. Videos now have to have a copyright license by law; the Minister will explain all of this to you. 'God has given us marriage so that husband and wife, being joined together as Christ with His Church,may be a sign of unity and mutual commitment, for the enrichment of society and strengthening of the community.'

ESSENTIAL DOCUMENTATION - You must obtain a certificate of licence for your marriage to proceed. The resident Registrar at Christ Church, Debbie Bold, will meet up with you after your initial interviews, between them they will take you through all the legalities and how to apply for your licence.