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Superintendent Registrar’s Certificate

A Superintendent Registrar of a civil Register Office may issue a Certificate to permit a marriage to take place in an Anglican church.

One of the parties must have the required seven days residence within the registration district and within the parish where the marriage is to take place before applying for the Certificate, or the church must be the usual place of worship of one or both of the parties. The Registrar enters the details of the parties in a book which is open to public inspection and also displays a notice at the Register Office for 28 days. If no impediments are shown within the period of 28 days, a Superintendent Registrar’s Certificate can be issued. However, a clergyman is under no obligation to marry people who have chosen this preliminary, and in practice clergy will recommend banns or a Common Licence.

However, note that where one or both of the parties to the intended marriage are from countries outside the European Economic Area, the marriage may, under the provisions of the Immigration Act 2014, only be celebrated in a Church of England ceremony on the authority of a Superintendent Registrar’s Certificate or a Special Licence issued by the Archbishop’s Faculty Office. These new provisions came into effect on 2 March 2015. Also, with effect from the same date, the notice of an intended marriage to be given at a civil Register Office before a Superintendent Registrar’s Certificate can be issued has been extended from 15 days to 28 days.

A Superintendent Registrar’s Certificate will normally be valid for 12 months from the date of issue, subject to some minor exceptions (see section 33 of the Marriage Act 1949)