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School, College and University Chapels: Information

Apply for a Special Licence: Procedures
Foreign Nationals / Foreign Domicile
Marriage in Church after Divorce


This section explains the Archbishop’s usual requirements for applicants where the parties wish to marry in a school, college or university chapel.

Licences are normally granted if one of the parties is:

–  A member of staff (teaching or non-teaching) of the school or college

–  A child of one of the members of staff (teaching or non-teaching) of the school or college

–  A former member of staff of longstanding service (teaching or non-teaching) of the school or college

–  An ex-student (or, where applicable, a current student) of the school or college.


Licences may also be granted if one of the parties has a strong family or other link with the institution that satisfies the Archbishop’s overall criterion, but each application will be considered on its own merits.

If a couple does not satisfy these requirements but still feels there is good reason for being granted a special licence, the minister who is going to conduct the wedding should write to the Faculty Office, on behalf of the couple, explaining the circumstances. Special Licences do not issue on aesthetic or sentimental grounds or to facilitate pre-planned wedding receptions.


There are a number of other conditions which have to be satisfied before an application for a Special Licence can be approved:

i)  The couple’s families should approve of the marriage.

ii) The incumbent(s) or minister(s) in charge of the parish(es) where the couple reside should have been consulted; or, if a couple are resident overseas, an Anglican minister local to their residence should be consulted.

iii) The school/college authorities must have consented.

iv) The chaplain or minister in charge of the chapel where the service is to be held must have been consulted and given his or her agreement.

v) The minister who is to solemnise the wedding must be fully in support of this couple’s application for a Special Licence.


In cases where one (or both) of the parties is divorced and has a former spouse still living, Special Licences are granted only where a certified copy of the decree absolute is supplied with the application, the House of Bishops’ Advice on remarriage is followed, including the filling out of the ‘Marriage In Church After Divorce’ application form‘, and the officiating minister consults with his/her Bishop (and sends, with the application form, a copy of the Bishop’s written response and the completed ‘Marriage In Church After Divorce’ leaflet).

Where one or both applicants is a foreign national or lives overseas, the Faculty Office’s advice about this should be read at an early stage.

If you wish to apply for a Special Marriage Licence having read the above guidance, please follow the link here.