Applying for a common licence 

A Common Licence is a Bishop’s permission for a marriage to take place in a particular church. An application for a Common Licence should not be made until the three month period prior to the proposed wedding date. The Licence will be valid for a maximum of three months (like a certificate that banns have been published) so if the Licence is issued too early it will expire before the proposed wedding date. Details of Bishop's Surrogates and information about Common Licences can be found here.

Couples seeking a Common Licence should take the following steps:

1.   Complete questionnaire (on-line)*

2.   Couple will require the following:

3.   Meet with the Bishops Surrogate - Both parties must attend although just one of the parties is required to swear an oath.

4.   Pay fee to Surrogate - The Common Licence fee is currently £200.

5.   The Registry will issue their marriage licence by post which is valid for three months from the date on which the affidavit is sworn.

6.   The licence becomes valid the moment the documents are signed and the couple do not have to receive the marriage licence before the service takes place.

*Paper copy available here.