How to get a building certified as a place of worship and how to get a place of worship certified as a place where marriages can take place.
Place of worship
Under the provision of the Places of Worship Registration Act 1855, a congregation may apply for a building to be certified as a place of worship by applying to the Superintendent Registrar in the district where the venue is situated. Please contact us and we can send you the necessary paperwork. This excludes churches or chapels of the Church of England, unless they share a church building with another religious denomination.
The person who acts as 'minister', 'proprietor' or 'trustee' at the place of worship will need to send the following to the Superintendent Registrar at Barnsley register office:
- 2 completed copies of the application form
- a sketch of the floor plan identifying which rooms will be used for worship
- an average weekly timetable of how the building will be used to satisfy the Registrar General that the building is primarily used for religious worship
- the statutory registration fee, a cheque or postal order made payable to Barnsley MBC. For information about the current fee please see our fees and charges page
Registering to hold marriage ceremonies
Please ask us for an application form if you decide you would like your place of worship to become a building where marriages can take place. Again we will need 2 completed copies of the form.
Your application form must be signed by 20 separate householders who regard the building as their usual place of worship. The forms must be countersigned by a trustee or proprietor of the building. You will also need to send a cheque or postal order made payable to Barnsley MBC for the statutory fee (which covers the cost of the public notices see below). See our fees and charges for details
(If you want the building be certified as a place of worship and registered for marriage at the same time, you can submit the forms together. However, the forms for registration of the building for marriage must not be dated before those for worship).
What happens to your application
Once we receive the information, we send it to the General Register Office for authorisation. When the General Register Office certifies a building for worship, it will be recorded in the list of places of meeting for religious worship maintained at the General Register and one of the forms 76 will be returned to you.
When the General Register Office registers a building for marriage, the Superintendent Registrar is required to send a certificate of the registration to the proprietor or trustee who countersigned the householders certificates. Public notice of the registration must be advertised in a local newspaper and in the London Gazette.
If a place of worship is no longer in use
If the congregation stops using the building, there is a legal obligation to let the Registrar General know. You will need to get an application from the Superintendent Registrar. It can be signed by any person who can represent the congregation.
If the building is demolished and re-built on the same foundations within a year and will be used by the same congregation, the certification and registration will not be affected.
For more information or a general discussion about registering a building for worship and/or marriage contact the Superintendent Registrar, at Barnsley Registration Service.