If you are reading this, at a guess it's congratulations on your engagement!

So, to begin with, we would like to assure you of our prayers both for a joyous wedding day but also for a blessed, happy, fruitful and fulfilling married life together. When entering sacramental marriage your spouse (marriage partner) becomes an important part of your way to holiness and to God. Each sign of love within your relationship can sustain, heal and help you to grow in holiness and climb the stairway to heaven.

Your wedding day is one of the most important days of your life and we will do all that we can to help you with the arrangements for the day.

If you are planning to get married at St. Philip's or St. John's, please make an appointment by phone, with the Parish Priest as soon as possible (in the Diocese of Arundel and Brighton, that is, this Diocese, couples are required to give 12 months' notice to the parish priest) to allow for marriage preparation and any legal and civil administration.

Following direction from the Civil Authorities as of February 2014 to qualify to marry at St Philip's or St John's at least one of the parties must either reside in the registration district where the church building is located or the church must be their usual place of worship.

Getting Married?

Generally speaking, you may marry in the Catholic Church if:

  • at least the bride or the groom is a Roman Catholic
  • neither of you has been married before
  • you are 18 years old or over

To marry in the parish, at least one of you should normally reside in the parish. The Civil Law states that the church in which you plan to get married must normally be within the registration district where you or your partner resides. The Church's Canon Law states that your marriage is to be celebrated in the parish in which either of you is residing.

You need to give us at least twelve months notice of your intention to marry.

The process of planning your marriage with us will take the following format:

  • A meeting with the priest with whom you have been in contact to discuss your plans to ascertain that you are free to marry in the Catholic Church. A date for your proposed wedding will be discussed at this meeting, and not before.
  • At this meeting, essential paperwork will be started. The priest will need:
    • if you are a Catholic, a new copy of your baptismal certificate (issued in the six months prior to the wedding date)
    • if you are a Christian of another church, a copy of your original baptismal certificate.
  • Don't worry about bringing these to the initial meeting as very often detective work needs to be undertaken (especially if you were baptised in another country), but do please be aware the priest will need copies of the certificates in due course, and certainly in good time before the proposed wedding date.
  • You need to ensure that you fulfil the legal requirements to get married by approaching your local Registrar's Office and making an appointment to see a registrar to obtain a wedding licence. It is your responsibility to provide the necessary legal documentation to the priest by the time of the wedding rehearsal in the few days prior to the wedding. The local Registrar's Office for both Uckfield and Heron's Ghyll is in Crowborough. Tel 01892 653803. You may find it helpful to visit the web site of the General Register Office as legislation in regard to marriage changed on May 4th 2021.
  • If you live in separate registration districts, you will need to contact each Registrar concerned. You will find the address of any Registrar by looking in a telephone or Thompson's directory or via the internet. (Search: 'Registrar of births, death & marriages'
  • If the Catholic lives outside the Catholic Parishes of Uckfield & Heron's Ghyll, you also need a Letter of Freedom from the priest of the Catholic parish in which you reside. Both of you need, please, to be prepared to supply a letter from your parent(s), stating simply that to the best of their knowledge you have never been married before and that as far as they are aware, you are free to marry..
  • After the initial meeting with the priest you will be asked to attend a Marriage Preparation Programme, and then other meetings with the priest will follow.

In the first instance contact Fr Ian.

What the Church teaches us about Marriage