Your wedding at St Paul, Hamstead
You are special indeed. Of all the marriages which take place in the UK you have chosen a church wedding. And of all the churches in the land you have chosen St Paul’s Hamstead – a Grade II listed original miners church serving God in Great Barr and Hamstead for 125 years.
We want to ensure that your wedding day goes smoothly with memories to treasure for a lifetime. We want it to be the foundation of a strong healthy marriage which is life giving and life long.
We are committed to ensuring we deliver the best for you and your guests.
God bless you as you take this next exciting step in your life together.
What makes a church wedding?
St. Paul’s is a beautiful church with oak pews and traditional fittings. People,often say it’s like a country church in the middle of a city! However pretty it is, there are other venues which are more grand, lavish or quirky. St Paul’s is not a venue. It is a church. And it is the primary purpose of the church to point people to God.
Your wedding will do just that!
“God is love and those who live in love and God lives in them.” These are the opening words to your marriage ceremony and is a reminder that God has made us for love and relationship.
We will pray for you throughout your preparations and your marriage. We invite you to make St. Paul’s your home and to feel comfortable in this space. Why not come along to some of the Sunday services and social events. You will get to know some of the people who will be involved in the various aspects of your wedding and have the opportunity to speak with them about your plans.
Come and see
Come and see the space we use. We have the church and a “secret garden” – a real gem where you will be able to take photographs for 30 minutes prior to heading off for your wedding breakfast. We also have a community centre which is available for hire if you are catering for yourselves. It is also available for bookings for parties and family events at other times.
To get started
You need to book an appointment with the Vicar to complete a Marriage application form and pay the deposit. This will provisionally hold the date and time, Remember there may be other couples who have the same date but a different time!!
Before the wedding
We publish banns for couples resident in this parish and who are British.
If one of you lives outside the parish boundary, it is your responsibility to acquire and provide banns from the parish in which you are resident at least 2 weeks before the wedding.
If either or both of you are not a British national, the church will facilitate the process of acquiring a Licence. You are responsible for related additional fees paid directly to the Diocesan Registrar’s office.
If either or both of you have been married previously and live in the parish boundary, you can still be married at St Paul’s on provision of a decree absolute at the time of booking; and at the Vicar’s discretion. This permission is granted by the Bishop of Birmingham for couples who are not resident in the parish. The process does not begin until all fees have been met and we have talked about the previous relationship.
Planning a wedding takes time and energy…. And a little patience too … so that the “Big Day” is wonderful and joyful and that everything is in place for you and your guests.
Remember you spend weeks and months planning ONE DAY – your wedding! Your marriage is for a lifetime and needs some time too. You will be invited to join with other couples preparing for marriage; to celebrate all that is good and address the challenges ahead. Think of it as a relationship MOT! There is also the opportunity to consider practicalities.
This is the official name for the church service. In the presence of God and before your family and friends, you declare your love, make solemn vows, and in token of this you each exchange rings. The priest will then pronounce you husband and wife.
It is a legal, religious and social event all rolled into one. There are official words given for all the formalities and the priest conducting your wedding will also say a few words.
Hymns or songs sung together or performed by soloists add to the occasion. The service lasts approximately 45 minutes.
Music and Readings
We will advise on appropriate music and readings but you may have some ideas of your own. Talk them through with the Vicar who will be happy to advise you.
You may like to discuss the colours of your wedding with the Church flower team. Pedestals are located at 3 key points and remain in church. Pew ends, bows and fancies can be considered but please make the necessary appointments for their delivery and assembly well in advance of the wedding itself.
Marriage is a sacrament to be treasured always and you may have photographs. Please note this is in consultation with the Vicar and only subject to a Code of Conduct agreed and signed ahead of the wedding. Strictly no flash photography or movement around church once the service begins. This also applies to Videographers for whom a copyright licence fee is applied. Remember to factor in time for photos on arrival at church. This means that the bride and bridesmaids need to arrive at least 10 minutes before the service is due to start.
The fee includes 30 minutes for photos in the garden (or church in case of rain).
The Bridal Party
The groom and best man / groomsmen arrive early, check register entries and await the bridal party. Unlike Hollywood, the bride leads the procession into church with bridesmaids following behind and sliding into the front pew as she joins her husband-to-be at the chancel steps.
Confetti – especially when biodegradable, looks pretty and celebratory. Use it liberally at the roadside just as you leave but nowhere else in the church precincts please.
What happens if I’m late?
Ensure you are on time. Contrary to popular belief, it is not the bride’s prerogative (or anyone else) to be late! It would be a real shame to lose any element of the dreams you’ve dreamt and the plans you’ve made; or even spend a penny more for lateness. Time is money; and the indemnity paid in advance of a wedding is returned in full if the marriage is held at the contracted time or proportionally if delayed.
What are the costs?
Fees are set annually by the Parish Church Council and must be paid in full 3 calendar months before your wedding date. The current fee schedule is available on request and fees can be paid by cheque to Hamstead PCC St Paul, or alternatively by bank transfer:
Bank of Scotland
Sort Code: 12-05-65
Account Name: Hamstead PCC, St Paul
Account number: 00354245
“Cancellation policy applies, please ask for details”