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Removing someone from a church at a wedding.

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So i have a family wedding coming up soon. The groom has fallen out with his mum several years ago and does not want her at the wedding. The mum is adamant she is coming to view the ceremony at the church.

 

Is the following i have been told correct?

 

Anyone can come to view the wedding inside the church because its public, you cannot ban or stop anyone entering. The mum cannot be removed unless she makes a scene. In fact if anyone tries to remove her or starts to 'kick off' they can actually get into trouble themselves?

 

Thanks for any help clearing things up and have pity on this usher.

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Hi

That is what I understand as well. When my mum died, my father (I worship the very ground he will be buried in) threatened to attend (although they had been divorced for 20 years) I was also told that as it was a public building, anyone could attend and there was nothing any of us could do. (he was wise and stayed away).

 

Why not have a word with the vicar. Perhaps he/she would have some idea of what to do.


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Is Mum actually going to turn up.. or is she just trying to stress the groom out prior to the big day?


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I imagine a church would be treated as private property. Certainly a wedding would normally be a private occasion. Presumably the vicar can decide whether or not to let particular people in. What the vicar would do if the mum did turn up is another question ... I can't imagine he would call the police on the groom's mum. Perhaps it would be best to let her sit quietly at the back, even if they have fallen out?


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I do not belive that you can bar someone from a wedding. the bit where they say "does anyone know of any lawful impediment" baring people would mean that you could get around this legal requirmernt. blocking someone from entering could prevent the ceremory from being lawful.


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Is the following i have been told correct?

 

Anyone can come to view the wedding inside the church because its public, you cannot ban or stop anyone entering. The mum cannot be removed unless she makes a scene. In fact if anyone tries to remove her or starts to 'kick off' they can actually get into trouble themselves?

 

Thanks for any help clearing things up and have pity on this usher.

 

 

Not just because it's public, but a place of worship to which all are welcome. Has the groom discussed the issue with the vicar?


 

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I have been giving some more thought to this..

 

People are "invited" to a wedding and you do pay for the hire of the church.. dont you ?

 

Can you imagine if I had turned up at Prince William and Kate's wedding.. !! Would they have let me in? - I doubt that very much.

 

The place they were married was/is a place of worship and a public place !


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When the church is hired it becomes a private venue. Therefore people can be denied access to the areas that are hired. The rest of the church would still remain open to the public.

 

Once the hired time has expired the church is available to all.


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It is generally understood that members of the public can attend any ceremony/service or event in a place of worship and in fact many do attend wedding in churches especially in the rural villages.

I would be difficult I think to prevent any such attendance.


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To simply marry in church in 2013 or 2014, everything that is legally required costs less than £460.

 

The statutory fee, as set out in the current national fees table, is all that a couple is obliged to pay by law to marry in church in 2013.

 

Other things, like flowers, organists, bells and choirs, along with the services of verger, are all optional extras in law.

 

Additional costs for these optional extras must be based on real expense incurred by the church.

 

It’s not lawful to charge a ”facility fee” for the church’s beautiful setting or internal atmosphere, or to charge an “administration fee” to cover the costs of the wedding to the church. Legally all these costs are to be met from the PCC part of the statutory fee.

 

In other words, you are not 'hiring' the church as such.

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I'm not sure how you go about making it a private ceremony but you must be able to. Otherwise celeb church weddings would be overrun. I'd imagine there are significant cost implications, the point being that you are hiring the church as a private venue.

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I'm not sure how you go about making it a private ceremony but you must be able to. Otherwise celeb church weddings would be overrun. I'd imagine there are significant cost implications, the point being that you are hiring the church as a private venue.

Tis quite simple you have the wedding in a stately home/ top hotel/uncles castle then you can have what ever security you want.


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The church is a place of worship and is available for the public to attend.They would be removed only on the grounds of threatening behaviour,causing a disturbance.

In which case it is the vicar,church warden to escort them away.If they will not leave peacefully then the police would be called.

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Celebs do get married in churches and they are private, invitation only affairs. I know because I've been to one. It must be possible to hire a church for a private ceremony.

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If the church is full then you can deny access,on the grounds of health and safety.Celeb weddings are generally well protected ie before you get anywhere near the church you are stopped and invitation have to be viewed.

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I've only ever been to one so I can't know what generally happens :-)

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I deny suggesting this, bring the wedding forward a couple of hours, probably been done before.


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I assume this is a Church of England wedding? Discuss it with the Vicar, I suspect the rules on this are complex but I agree with others that you probably cannot bar anyone from attending a wedding in a CofE parish church as they long as they don't disrupt the service. Because the CofE is the national 'Established Church', linked to the state, it has various civic duties that other churches don't have. One of which is marrying anyone who wants to be married there - you don't have to be a CofE member, or even a Christian, to be married in a CofE church. (You have to have a "connection" to the parish, but one of those is simply that you live there.) I suspect another is that anyone must be allowed to attend any service.

 

When you pay the statutory fees I don't believe that you are hiring the church or acquiring an exclusive licence to use the church. It's not the same as hiring a stately home. You are just paying for the specific things listed in the table of fees linked above. The fact that access to celebrity weddings is controlled doesn't IMV invalidate the general principle. At most people's weddings there won't be more people trying to get in that the church can safely accommodate, but at celebrity weddings that would be the case so presumably then it is permitted to have some form of 'access control' for H&S reasons.

 

Royal weddings are different for another reason, they are normally held in Westminster Abbey or St Pauls Cathedral, neither of which are Parish Churches so can probably have different rules on who can attend. Almost every "rule" in the CofE has a lengthy list of 'exceptions' and 'special cases'!

Edited by Ethel Street

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