Legal changes to the procedure for publishing banns

Two important changes to banns come into effect from 19th December.

The Church of England Marriage (Amendment) Measure has now been passed by both Houses of Parliament and is due to receive the Royal Assent on 19th December 2012.

Section 2 of the Measure, which comes into force immediately when Royal Assent is given, makes some important changes to the statutory procedure for publishing banns of marriage. The clergy and others responsible for publishing banns need to be aware of these changes given the importance of banns being properly published.

The two changes that will take effect on 19th December are:

1. There will be statutory authority for the use of the form of words for the publication of banns contained in Common Worship: Pastoral Services (as an optional alternative to the form of words contained in the Book of Common Prayer)

2. Banns must be published on three Sundays at the ‘principal service’ (rather than as at present at ‘morning service’) and, as an option, they may additionally be published at any other service on those three Sundays.

The Measure can be downloaded here:
(Section 1 of the Measure will come into force at a later date, yet to be determined.)