Getting Married at Christ Church URC

Wedding Welcome

Welcome.  We are delighted that you are considering getting married at Christ Church and sharing your special day with us.  If you wish to arrange a wedding with us please contact the Minister, Trevor Hahn either by e-mail at or by phone on 07854640773.  Usually, after the wedding date is agreed the minister, Trevor, will arrange to come and see you in your home to discuss the details of your special day a few weeks before the ceremony and there will also be a wedding rehearsal a day or two before the wedding so you can see the church and answer any practicalities.

We hope the information provided is sufficient to answer all your questions but if not please do not hesitate to contact the minister.


Marriage is a wonderful blessing and gift from God.  It is an expression of a man and woman’s love for each other that mirrors God’s love for each and every-one of us.  This is not a love based on emotion and physical attraction, based on a selfish attitude of what can be received from the relationship but is a love which loves the spouse for who they are.  



Marriage expresses a love that is freely given, that involves not only the physical but the whole person, heart, mind, soul and strength. It is a love that is not self-serving, but is instead sacrificial, always seeking the highest good of their spouse, and is freely given, unmerited and unconditional.

In marriage, husband and wife begin a new life together. The bible says that a man will leave his mother and father and be united to his wife, becoming one flesh. There is a joining, a cleaving, a uniting of two as they become one couple, both with their individual traits and personalities respected.

 The vows that husband and wife make affirm the permanence of the relationship.  This is not a commitment that is made just in the moment but is made for life, ‘until death us do part,’ the concept of joining together, of uniting, of cleaving is literally a sticking together, no matter what.

A marriage as God intends consists of being open, honest, and vulnerable, where there are no secrets, where there are no lies, where husband and wife are neither closed off from one another, nor defensive, fearing rejection but share everything, forgiving one another, which deepens the relationship, and enhances stability and permanence.

This is a commitment not based on emotion which may wax and wane based on our circumstances but a decision of the will, a commitment where husband and wife can depend on each other, no matter what.  This is highlighted in the wedding vows as the husband and wife contemplate their relationship not only for richer but poorer, not only in health but in sickness, not only in joy but in sorrow as well and is celebrated in the signing of a contract and the giving and receiving of rings, signs of a love which never ends, beautiful, holy and strong.

Marriage is a joy and delight, a celebration of love, so often in the bible marriages are public, part of community life, involving celebration.  Jesus even turned water into wine at one wedding he attended.  Marriage is a wonderful blessing and gift from God to be celebrated mirroring God’s love for us.   Enjoy it.

As the bible says in the book Song of Songs,  ‘For you reach into my heart.  With one flash of your eyes I am undone by your love, my beloved, my equal, my love.  You leave me breathless – I am overcome by merely a glance from your eyes….how satisfying to me, my equal my love.  Your love is my finest wine – intoxicating and thrilling.  And your sweet perfumed praises – so exotic, so pleasing.

Your loving words are like the honeycomb to me; your tongue releases milk and honey.’

The Wedding Service

It is important to realise that the wedding ceremony is both a Christian service and a legal contract, and in the latter we act as an agent to the Registrar at Colchester Registry Office. Christ Church has appointed ‘Authorised Persons’ to act on behalf of the Registrar, and one of these‘Authorised Persons’ will officiate at the ceremony. The wedding ceremony, including photographs and the signing of the register usually lasts about one hour.

The service usually includes a bible reading, perhaps a poem or a reflection, and some hymns or songs. We have some poems and readings, which are included in below, and available on request, to help you decide what you would like but do not feel restricted by the choices, if there is something else you prefer do please contact the minister, Trevor.

License To Wed

In order to marry at Christ Church, or any church for that matter, it is necessary for you to have obtained a ‘licence to wed’ from the Colchester Registry office, as without it we, or anyone else, cannot legally marry you.

You can arrange an appointment to obtain a licence to wed from the Colchester Registry Office by phoning 0345 603 7632.

After the meeting, the Registry Office will send you the licence in the post and you will need to send the original, not a photocopy, on to us at Christ Church, 6 Carnarvon Road, CO15 6PH, where it will be kept in our safe until the wedding day.  Please note that this process may take a few weeks.

Photographs and Videos

Photographs may be taken during the wedding ceremony, as long as they are taken discretely and the person taking the photo remains in their place so as not to distract the bride, groom and those taking part in the ceremony.  There will also be allotted times during the ceremony where you will be invited to come forward to take photographs.  If you have a professional photographer it is advisable for them to attend the wedding rehearsal at the church a day or two before the wedding to discuss the details to ensure we can meet all your requirements.


Videos of the ceremony can be accommodated but there is an additional performance fee involved.  Please contact the minister, Trevor,if you would like any further information on this.


Videos of the ceremony can be accommodated but there is an additional performance fee involved.  Please contact the minister, Trevor,if you would like any further information on this.

Music often plays a significant part in the wedding ceremony, from the
entrance of the bride and recessional music, the hymns and songs during
the ceremony, and the music during the signing of the register.  We have
an organist whois very talented and can play much of the more
traditional music, including the ‘Bridal March’ and‘The Wedding March’
and we also have a CD player which can be used for anything you wish to
play which is more personal.  If you are providing your own CD, however,
can you please ensure it is sent to us in advance of the wedding day as
very rarely some internet downloaded music is not recognized by our CD
player.  We have provided a list of hymns which might help you decide
what you wish to have on your wedding day.


We do allow the throwing of confetti and rice after the wedding service but we do politely ask that this is done outside and away from the doors of the church as it can become a slip hazard to those coming in and out of the church,especially when it is wet.




There is a fee for conducting a wedding at ChristChurch.  The fee does include the use of the church for the service, the minister presiding at the service, the authorised person, the organist,some-one to greet you at the front door as you arrive, some flowers and an order of service.  If you wish to video the service a small extra charge is applicable.  Please contact the minister, Trevor,for more details.

Personal Details

Please note that we will require certain details in advance such as names, date of birth, address, telephone number, etc, and some of these will be included in the Marriage Register.  These are subject to the church’s ‘DATA PRIVACY POLICY’ which can be made available on request.

Wedding Blessings

If you wish for Christ Church to host a wedding blessing or a service to renew your wedding vows do please contact the minister, Trevor, for further information.

We regret to inform you that currently ChristChurch Clacton United Reformed Church is not registered to host same sex marriages or blessings of the same, and hence, this is a service we cannot offer.

If you wish to discuss anything further please do not hesitate to contact the minister, Trevor by email at or by phone on 07854 640773.  We look forward to hearing from you and it would be a pleasure and privilege to share with you on your special day.

Poems and Readings

During the service there is time for appropriate poems, and we have included a few suggested items. Please feel free to make your own suggestions but confirm with the Minister well ahead of the service.

As Long as …. I Will Love You
As long as I can dream,
As long as I can think,
As long as I have a memory
I will love you.
As long as I have eyes to see
And ears to hear
And lips to speak ……

I will love you.



As long as I have a heart to feel
A soul stirring within me,
An imagination to hold you ……
I will love you.
As long as there is time,

As long as there is love,
As long as there is you,
As long as I have breath
To speak your name ……
I will love you,
Because I love you more
Than anything in all the world.

Daniel Haughian.

More Poems and Reflections

Marriage is such
A special thing,
When church bells ring,
And people Sing.
And its bonded,
By a tiny thing,
A token of love,
A Wedding Ring.
When a Couple become,
Both man and wife,
They devote to each other,
The best part of their life.
Today, upon your Wedding Day,
When you Two join together,
We wish you Good Luck,
And harmony,
Love and Happiness,

On this Wedding Day

The grace of life is theirs

Who on this wedding day

Delight to make their vows,

And for each other pray.

May they, O Lord, together


The lasting joy of Christian


   F Pratt Green (1903 – ) Based on 1 Peter 3:7

An American Indian Prayer

‘Now you will feel no rain

For each of you will be shelter to the other.

Now you will feel no cold

For each will be a warmth to the other.

Now you will feel no loneliness

For each of you will be companionship to the other.

Now you are two persons

But there is only one life between you

Go now to your dwelling place

To enter into the days of your life together.’

Michelle Purkiss