Places of worship or religious buildings which are not churches and chapels of the Church of England need to be licensed for marriages to take place there.
You can find a list of all places of worship registered for marriage on GOV.UK.
You can apply to register a religious building so marriages can take place there.
Apply to register a religious building to hold weddings
You need to complete two steps to register a building:
- certify it as a place of worship
- register it to hold marriages
Apply to certify a place of worship
You need to apply for the building to be certified as a place of worship if this hasn’t already been done.
To apply, the minister, proprietor or trustee of the building needs to provide:
- two copies of the application form to certify a place of worship (form 76)
- a floor plan showing which rooms will be used for worship
- an average weekly timetable of how the building will be used. This is to show the General Register Office (GRO) that it's mainly used for religious worship.
- the registration fee
Apply to register the building to hold marriages
To register the building to hold marriages you need to provide:
- two copies of the application form for the registration of marriages (form 78). This form must be signed by 20 separate householders who regard the building as their usual place of worship. It must be countersigned by the minister, proprietor or trustee of the building.
- the registration fee. This covers the cost of the legal requirement for a public notice in a local newspaper and the London Gazette.
How to apply
Contact us online to apply to register a building. We'll then contact you to book an appointment to bring your completed documents into the register office and pay the registration fee. We’ll then send your documents to the GRO.
If you’re applying for a building to be certified as a place of worship and registered for marriages at the same time, you can bring all of the forms together. The forms for registering the building for marriages must not be dated prior to the forms for certifying it as a place of worship.
After registering a building
Once a building's been registered it'll be recorded in the list of places of worship registered for marriage on GOV.UK. One of the completed forms will also be returned to you. We'll send a certificate to the person who countersigned the application.
Public notice of the registration must also be given in a local newspaper and the London Gazette.
Buildings no longer in use as a place of worship
If a building stops being used as a place of worship we must legally inform the GRO. You’ll need to complete a notice of disuse form (form 77) which can be signed by any person who can represent the congregation.
If a building is demolished and rebuilt on the same foundations within a year, and will be used by the same congregation, the certification and registration won't be affected.
You can find out more about wedding venue licences for religious buildings on GOV.UK.