St Bartholomew - Westhoughton


Getting married in church

Please read this section carefully as it contains very important information relating to the planning of your wedding.


We are very pleased that you are thinking about getting married in one of our churches.  Please read the following information carefully as it will help in preparation for your wedding.

Where do we start?

Contact us using the details at the end of this section.  The booking you make with us ensures that we reserve an agreed date and time for your wedding.  Once you have completed  the wedding application form, there is little else for you to do as far as the church arrangements are concerned, until about four months before the wedding when we will contact you.

Once we have agreed a date and time with you, please DO NOT alter any times or dates without first checking with us that your new date and/or time are available.  Please note that we are a team of clergy, any of whom may conduct your wedding.

Where can we find out more about church weddings?

No doubt you will want to gather as much information as possible in order to make your wedding day memorable in every way.  The internet is full of information about weddings, though much of it is general and the regulations and traditions of local churches may not permit some of the options you read about on websites. 

A very useful and helpful website from the Church of England  is

Do we need to go to a register office to get a licence?

Because marriage is a legal ceremony, it has to be conducted according to English law.  Most of the law relates to where and when people may be married and the things that need to be done in order to ensure that the marriage is legal.  You may hear people talk about "having banns read" or "getting a licence" or "going to the registrar's" and this can be confusing.  When we contact you nearer the time, we will explain to you in detail what you have to do in terms of the legal preliminaries. 

What happens about hymns and music?

You will need to discuss music and hymns with us and we are happy to advise and help you as you plan the service.  Though you are not obliged to have the organ at your wedding, we strongly recommend that you do as it provides a very full and rich sound.  

Please note that if you would like any other musicians to take part in the service (singers or instrumentalists) you must discuss this with the clergy  before making any arrangements. 

Suggestions of suitable music and hymns are to be found on the music list below and you will be able to hear these on the internet.

Your choice of hymns and music for your wedding is very important as it reflects not only personal taste but the Christian faith that will be at the heart of your marriage service.  Though we do like to be as accommodating as possible, we do ask that you consider the appropriateness of music at your wedding. Some music would be very appropriate for your reception but not for the service (and vice versa!)

Suggested music:

for the arrival of the bride

Bridal March, Lohengrin  Wagner

March, Royal Fireworks  Handel

Processional March, Sound of Music  Rodgers

for the final procession

Wedding March    Mendelssohn

Grand March from Aida  Verdi

Toccata, 5th Symphony  Widor 

Arrival of the Queen of Sheba  Handel

Trumpet Voluntary    Clarke


for either

Trumpet Voluntary    Clarke

Trumpet Tune and Air  Purcell

Hornpipe, Water Music  Handel

Suggested hymns: 

Guide me O Thou Great Redeemer

Morning has broken

Immortal invisible

For the beauty of the earth

Lord of all hopefulness

The Lord’s my Shepherd

Breathe on me breath of God

Love divine all loves excelling

Now thank we all our God

Angel voices ever singing

O Jesus I have promised

Thine be the glory

At the name of Jesus

Praise my soul the King of Heaven

Other popular hymns are:

Shine Jesus Shine

One more step along the world I go

All things bright and beautiful

Give me joy in my heart keep me praising (Sing hosanna)

There are several appropriate readings for the marriage service.  Please take time to read through them (see pages 9-12) and choose one for the service. Please note that you must include at least one bible reading in the service.

Do we need to have an order of service?

We can provide hymnbooks but couples often like to have an order of service printed.  This would include words for hymns and other parts of the service.  Please speak to the clergy before having anything printed.  An outline order for the marriage service is given on page 8

What happens about flowers?

There are always some altar flowers in church (except during Advent and Lent) and these should not be disturbed.  If you would like extra flower arrangements or other decoration, you will need to make arrangements for these with your florist. 

You must obtain agreement with the clergy for anything you wish to do

If you wish to use the services of an outside florist, you are permitted to do so but please note:

When the florist wishes to gain access to church to place arrangements etc., A phone call on the morning of the wedding is too late.  Florists need to bear in mind that there may be other weddings in the church on that day.Flowers (particularly ends of rows of seats) should not, under any circumstances, be fixed to the woodwork with Blue Tack, staples or pins.  Such arrangements must be removed immediately after the serviceIf you wish to keep any flowers, it is your responsibility to arrange for their removal on the day of the wedding.  Please ensure that your florist is made aware of these notes.

Can we take photographs and/or film the service?

Please ask  your photographer/videographer to speak to the clergy before the service starts.

We do not, under any circumstances, allow anyone other than your official photographer to take photographs or any other recording from the arrival of the bride until after the signing of the registers.

When do we need to pay?

The full fee for your wedding should be paid in full at least 14 days before the wedding day.  If you would like to pay by electronic bank transfer of funds, please speak to the clergy for bank details.

And finally.....

All of us who are involved in your wedding know just how much there is to do and how important this day is for you.  We will do our very best to ensure that your wedding day is a day to remember and that you have a clear sense of the presence of God in all that happens here.

Please do not be afraid to contact us with queries or concerns.  We will do our best to help.

Rev'd Carol Pharaoh

  Telephone: 01942 859251

  E mail:

Rev'd Angela Wynne

  Telephone: 01204 468150

  E mail:

Rev'd Andy Jones

  Telephone: 01942 813750



Outline Order of Wedding Service

Bridal March  (insert title & composer)

Hymn   (insert words)

The Marriage Service

Bible Reading    (insert reference)


Hymn      (insert words)  ***

The Prayers

Hymn      (insert words)

The Blessing

Signing of Registers

Wedding  March    (insert title & composer)


*** if there are only 2 hymns, this hymn is omitted




Genesis chapter 1 verses 26 - 28 & verse 31

Then God said, 'Let us make humankind in our image, according to our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the wild animals of the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.' So God created humankind in his image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. God blessed them, and God said to them, 'Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth.' God said, 'See, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit; you shall have them for food. And to every beast of the earth, and to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.' And it was so.  God saw everything that he had made, and indeed, it was very good.

Matthew chapter 5 verses 1-10

When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain; and after he sat down, his disciples came to him. Then he began to speak, and taught them, saying: 'Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.  "Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.  'Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. 'Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. 'Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy. 'Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. 'Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. 'Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake. for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

John chapter 15 verses 9-15

As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father's commandments and abide in his love. I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete.  'This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.

John chapter 2 verses 1-11

On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there.  Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. When the wine gave out, the mother of Jesus said to him, 'They have no wine.' And Jesus said to her, 'Woman, what concern is that to you and to me? My hour has not yet come.'  His mother said to the servants, 'Do whatever he tells you.' Now standing there were six stone water-jars for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons. Jesus said to them, 'Fill the jars with water.' And they titled them up to the brim. He said to them, 'Now draw some out, and take it to the chief steward.' So they took it. When the steward tasted the water that had become wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the steward called the bridegroom and said to him, 'Everyone serves the good wine first, and then the inferior wine after the guests have become drunk. But you have kept the good wine until now.' Jesus did this, the first of his signs, in Cana of Galileo, and revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him.

Ephesians chapter 3 verses 14-21

For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth takes its name. I pray that, according to the riches of his glory, he may grant that you may be strengthened in your inner being with power through his Spirit, and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith, as you are being rooted and grounded in love. I pray that you may have the power to comprehend, with all the saints, what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.  Now to him who by the power at work within us is able to accomplish abundantly far more than all we can ask or imagine, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, for ever and ever. Amen.

Philippians chapter 4 verses 4-9

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.  And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.  Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honourable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Keep on doing the things that you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you.

1 Corinthians chapter 13 verses 4-13

Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.  But as for prophecies, they will come to an end; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will come to an end. For we know only in part, and we prophesy only in part; but when the complete comes, the partial will come to an end. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became an adult, I put an end to childish ways. For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then we will see face to face. Now I know only in part; then I will know fully, even as I have been fully known.  And now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love.

Colossians chapter 3 verses 12-17

As God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. Bear with one another and, if anyone has a complaint against another, forgive each other; just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly; teach and admonish one another in all wisdom; and with gratitude in your hearts sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God.  And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

1 John chapter 3 verses 18-24

Little children, let us love, not in word or speech, but in truth and action. And by this we will know that we are from the truth and will reassure our hearts before him whenever our hearts condemn us; for God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything. Beloved, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have boldness before God; and we receive from him whatever we ask, because we obey his commandments and do what pleases him. And this is his commandment, that we should believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us. All who obey his commandments abide in him, and he abides in them. And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit that he has given us. 

1 John chapter 4 verses 7-12

Beloved, let us love one another, because love is from God; everyone who loves is from of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love. God's love was revealed among us in this way: God sent his only Son into the world so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins. Beloved, since God loved us so much, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God lives in us, and his love is perfected in us.



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