Getting married at Gosforth Parish Church

A  Marriage Service in Church  offers the opportunity for  a real family and community celebration. We work hard at Gosforth Parish Church to try to ensure that you have  the day and ceremony you want.

As we prepare the details of hymns and flowers and so on we shall also be able to get to know one another and to discuss  things at quite a deep level. Down the years you will both be able to look back on your Wedding Day as a great celebration and also as a time when you both committed yourselves wholeheartedly to one another in the sight of God.

As we go through all the preparations you will be prayed for by the whole Church family. We hope that these notes will give you all the basic information and support you need but  they are only an introduction and you need to speak face to face with oen fo the clergy early on in your planning.

One very important note: PLEASE DO NOT BOOK YOUR RECEPTION until you have checked that the Church is also available!  We will do all we can to help - but if the date is already booked by someone else there is nothing we can do!

May we add one other note here? A wedding does not HAVE to be the most expensive event ever!  Of course we all want a great time and that’s absolutely right but if for whatever reason you want something simple then please talk with us and we can help you achieve what you want. That’s what is important to : that we  help you have a great day on which you can look back with joy and thanks.

Checklist for a Church wedding

· Banns

· Music

· Flowers

· Order of service

· Ushers, bridesmaids, seating etc.

· Photographs and videos

· Other details

· Fees

· Rehearsal

 Banns- reading your names out in Church

· see the Vicar  and fill out the banns form

· if one of you live in another parish see the Vicar of that church as well and fill out a banns form there

· arrange the dates of the banns being read.

· try to come to church on the three Sundays when your banns are being read  - you will feel much more “at home” on your wedding day if you have worshipped with us regularly.

· collect the banns certificate from the other parish (there will be a fee to pay) and make sure you give it to me - you cannot be married without it!


· You do not HAVE to have any music at all!

· We have a splendid choir and a marvellous organ - but both choir and organist do have to be booked well in advance - the choir is not always available.

· You need to talk with the organist some good time ahead of the great day to sort out music and hymns. His name is Phil Mills and he can be contacted on 0191 281 7656 but it is much better to talk with him face to face - so come to Church on Sunday at 10.00 a.m. and catch him after the service. You will find his advice invaluable.

· As a guide line: you need some music for the bride to enter and some for you both to leave by. It is good to have at least one hymn. Quite often  we have three hymns; one at the start of the service, one during the signing of the registers (or a piece of music played by the organ) and one at the end of the service. If you choose not to sing hymns you might want to ask for a piece to be played during the signing of the registers.

 Some possible hymns

All things bright and beautiful ,All people that on earth do dwell, Amazing Grace, And did those feet in ancient times (Jerusalem)

Give me joy in my heart, Great is thy faithfulness, Guide me O Thou great redeemer, How great thou art, I danced in the morning (Lord of the dance)

Immortal, invisible, God only wise, Lead us heavenly Father lead us, Lord of all hopefulness,   Love divine all loves excelling

Now thank we all our God, One more step,  Praise my soul the King of heaven, Praise to the Lord the almighty, Sing Hosanna, Tell out my soul

The king of love my shepherd is

 We are happy to listen to your ideas for music - but the Vicar has the overall responsibility for all worship here in Church  and only  he can give the final agreement.


· We have some excellent flower arrangers who will be very happy to discuss your arrangements.

· You need to contact Mrs. Lorna Oliver (0191 285  5750) as soon as possible to arrange the flowers.

· She will also be able to tell you about the cost which varies according to what you want.

 Order of Service

· You can choose to print these yourself - or (for a small charge) we can print  an order of service for you which, if you choose you can insert inside a commercially produced cover. (We cannot provide embossed covers etc.)

· The order of service contains a basic outline of the service together with the details of the music and words of the hymns - the Vicar will let you see an example from a previous wedding.

· If you are having your own printed you need to have the proof copy checked by the Vicar before you arrange printing and you need to arrange for an extra 4 copies to be printed for Vicar, organist etc. It is also then your  responsibility to ensure that the service sheets are in church on the evening of the rehearsal.

Ushers and seating

· We can seat 300 (400 with a squeeze!)

· You need at least two ushers (male or  female) who will show people to their seats, tell people where the loo is, look after lost property and help tidy up the church afterwards (They often forget this - but we do need some help since we always have services the next day or often later on the same day)

· You need to have thought out beforehand a seating plan for the front few rows. By custom the bride and her family/friends sit on the left hand side (looking towards the altar) and the groom and his family/friends  on the right. During the service bride and groom will sit side by side on two chairs near the lectern. The very front row   will be  bridesmaids , groom and best man. Behind them come bride’s parents and immediate family and on the groom’s side (right hand side as you look towards the altar) his parents and family. Behind them sit the ushers who sit down just before the ceremony begins. Each  pew can seat 5 people comfortably,  6 with a bit of a squash. If possible it is a good idea if very small children sit on the left of the church near the doors which lead through into the crèche area. There is some carpeting there for them to play on and they are near the loo.


· Parking is very limited indeed.

· The bride’s car(s) can park immediately outside church - or in the driveway leading into church.

· It may be possible to find some parking space by the Church hall - but there are often other events going on there on  Saturday.

· Rectory Rd and the other roads around the Church get very full all day Saturday, especially when Newcastle are playing at home (even today!)  as people leave their cars and go into town on the metro.

· It is a good idea to warn guests beforehand and to encourage them to share cars as much as possible.

· When giving directions to anyone who does not know Gosforth we find that the best advice is to say “South Gosforth Metro Station” - most people seem to be able to find us then!


· You need at least one bridesmaid to look after the bride’s bouquet and help her with her dress. If small children are to be bridesmaids/pages please ensure that there is at least one older bridesmaid to help them remember what to do.

  Photographs and videos

· Guests are not allowed to take photographs or to record  in any way during the service. This is to do with all sorts of  copyright laws and it is your responsibility to ensure that your guests know of this  restriction.

· After the service guests may take as many photos etc. as they wish.

· Please appoint an official photographer (it need not be a professional). S/he can take photographs before and after the service and as the newly married couple come down the aisle.

· You may not take photographs during the actual signing of the registers . Instead we arrange for  photographs to be taken of the “signing”  immediately afterwards - you will be much more  relaxed then and the photos will look much happier!

· If you want to record  the Service there is a legal copyright fee involved.

· Both photographer and video person need to talk to the Vicar about where to stand etc.

Details of the service

You might like to think about the following:

· write a prayer together which the Vicar uses during the service

· have a friend or family member read from the Bible during the service

- choose a non-Biblical reading which is important to you both - again it can be read by a friend.

· invite two people to witness the signing of the register ( this is a legal requirement - most often it is the best man and chief bridesmaid but a witness can be any adult)

· Choose a “bride’s charity”. Nominate a charity towards which a proportion of the collection is donated. If you choose to do this it is a good idea to let your gusts know when they receive their    invitation. The Church Council has had to agree that 50% of all collections go towards the upkeep of the church to help pay ever increasing maintenance and heating costs.


· By all means encourage your guests to throw confetti - but please ensure it is the biodegradable variety - or rice!



The fees in  2018 are as follows:

Weddings :       PCC               304 – (includesVirger’s fee of £35 and complimentary printing of  service sheet)

                      Incumbent          201(to diocese)

                        Organist             85 – if required


Total                                      £590  (£505 if no organist)     


   Choir (when available)          £100 – to choir funds Total then: £690

If special music etc has to bought the costs will be passed on to the wedding couple

 Flowers are charged separately as are any printing or additional requested items or services

If service sheet is required on very high quality paper we need to charge £50 extra


 Banns only and certificate  : PCC                          

    Total :                                          £43



The rehearsal

· We have this in church a day or two  before the Service - you will need to  arrange this with the Vicar

Who needs to be there?

· Bride and Groom

· Best man

· Bridesmaids and page boys

· Whoever is giving away the bride

· Ushers

· anyone who is giving a reading

· anyone else who really wants to come is very welcome - but not essential at the rehearsal

 Bring to the rehearsal:

· the prayer you have written together

· the fees - a cheque made out to the Vicar (“Revd. P.J.Cunningham”  - he doesn’t actually get a penny!)

· the banns certificate from another parish (if applicable)

· your orders of service (then they won’t be forgotten on the day!)


 What is a Church wedding all about ?

All the flowers and the dress and so on -  wonderful, a great celebration,  but not really what Christian Marriage is all about! You are getting married in the presence of God. You are committing yourselves to one another life long - when the cake has been eaten and the photos put in their album  you have the rest of your lives for one another. And all couples find they need help- we need God’s help. God is Love. Love means being like Jesus. Jesus gave himself totally to others - in the end he was prepared to die on the Cross for all of us. That is what love really is. So in Christian  Marriage both partners seek to give  themselves totally to the other one. Often they fail - but God helps. Praying for strength and coming to church really can help you become a more loving person and to cope when things are difficult between you. And, of course, having been married in church you have the right to go back to a priest to ask for  confidential help if at any time things become too much.

 Christian marriage then is a gift from God; it is for loving and love-making in the fullest possible sense. Marriage is also for family - you need to discuss whether you both want children and how many! And Christian Marriage is not just for you and your partner - it is for the whole community. Just as your family and friends come to church to support you so during your married life as Christian people you will need to support them. The ring(s) help us understand all this. The ring is a symbol of unending love. It is made of precious metal to show the special relationship of marriage. It is a public sign of your commitment to one another in the sight of God.

 Here is the prayer we use when we call your banns:


We thank you Lord for N and N.

Be with them in their preparations , on their wedding day

and throughout their married life together. Amen


We at Gosforth Parish Church do hope you have a marvellous day - and we pray that you will have a wonderfully happy marriage.

 God bless you both.


During the Vancancy (i.e. while we have no Vicar) please contact: Gill Mitchell on 0191 285 4111. She will be happy to help