The law of England and Wales allows you to get married in the parish church of the parish in which you or your fiancé(e) live -so if either of you live in Sturry, Broad Oak, Fordwich, Westbere or Hersden, then you may get married in either Sturry church or Westbere church.
If you live outside the parish but are on the church electoral roll (church membership list) of this parish, you also have a right to be married in either Sturry church or Westbere church.
Additionally, since the regulations changed in October 2008 (under the Church of England Marriage Measure 2008), you can also get married in a parish church where you have one or more of the following ‘qualifying connections’:
(a) you were baptised in the parish;
(b) you were confirmed in the parish;
(c) your parent or grandparent were married in the parish;
(d) you have lived for at least six months in the parish, even if you have moved away now;
(e) your parent lived for at least six months in the parish during your lifetime;
(f) you have habitually attended public worship in the parish for at least six months, even if you are no longer doing so;
(g) your parent has habitually attended public worship in the parish for at least six months during your lifetime, even if they are no longer doing so.
So if any of these apply to you, you can get married in either Sturry or Westbere churches – but see the remarriage paragraph below.
Fordwich church has been redundant since 1996 and is no longer licensed for weddings.
If either you or your fiancé(e) have been divorced, you will need to speak to the Rector or Methodist minister before any booking can be made. Depending upon individual circumstances it may be possible to have a church wedding. If not, there is the option of a service of blessing.
Sturry church is open a lot during the week (see the regular service times). Other good times to visit the church include the Wednesday coffee-morning (9:45-11:45am).
Westbere church is open on most Sundays at 11am for a service.
Please contact the Rector or Methodist Minister for more information.