Wedding Ceremonies

We have four celebrants who conduct the wedding ceremonies at John Pounds Church. We also have some of the best organists in Hampshire who play for the ceremonies and we have four Authorised Persons to look after the legal side of things. With stewards from the church congregation to assist on the door welcoming your guests, our aim is to offer you a friendly and sincere team of people to make your wedding ceremony a joyful occasion.

To be married at John Pounds Church (or any church in Portsmouth), at least one of the couple needs to be a resident in the Portsmouth District (PO1-PO6) or we need to be your occasional place of worship.  If neither of the couple is resident in Portsmouth, please contact the office.

Wherever possible, we try to ”build” the marriage ceremonies in accordance with the wishes of the couple – the legal necessities and requirements being strictly followed. However the majority of couples like to stick to a fairly traditional format. Some like to add music of their choice on CDs. If there are relatives or friends who would like to deliver a reading or sing or play an instrument, then this is welcomed. Also where couples do not have a particularly strong religious affiliation, we try to accommodate this. Some couples are of mixed religion or faith and again we would try to reflect that in the service.

Please note that bookings cannot be made by telephone or by email as it is important to meet and discuss things with you before a commitment is made. A legal contract is created between us and the couple witnessed by signatures. The office is open for this purpose on most Friday evenings.

Public notice for your intention to marry is lodged with the local Register Office. This is the procedure for Free Churches, unlike Anglican Churches where the ‘Banns’ are read out 3 weeks before the wedding date.

We do marry people whose previous marriages have been dissolved by divorce and after decrees absolute have been issued. The relevant documents must be taken when going to give notice to the Registrar.

Since January 2016 we are pleased to have held a license to offer the marriage ceremony to same sex couples.  This is an important aspect of our Unitarian world view and we are delighted with this development.

The Blessing of civil ceremonies or thanksgivings after, say, 10 or 20 years of marriage or longer are also conducted at our church. Enquiries about these should be made as above.

Bookings:
We are currently taking bookings for 2018 to 2020.
Fees are £775 for a wedding, £550 for a Blessing and £250-£450 for renewal of vows (depending on requirements).
Please note – to make a firm booking we need both parties to be present to complete and sign the booking forms and pay the deposit of £200 (non-refundable).
Please contact the office direct to make an appointment at theoffice@johnpounds.org.uk