Register a building for worship and marriage
Place of worship
The person who acts as 'minister', 'proprietor' or 'trustee' at the place of worship will need to send the following to
Gloucestershire Registration Service,
St George's Road,
Cheltenham, GL50 3EW:
- two completed copies of Certifying a place of meeting for religious worship: form 76 (these should be identical and originals)
- a sketch of the floor plan identifying which rooms will be used for worship
- an average weekly timetable of how the building will be used to satisfy the Registrar General that the building is primarily used for religious worship
- a cheque or postal order made payable to 'Gloucestershire County Council', covering the statutory fee of £28.
Please note: This excludes churches or chapels of the Church of England, unless it shares a church building with another religious denomination.
Registration for marriage
If you decide you would like your place of worship to become a building where marriages can take place:
- two copies of Registration of a place of religious worship for the solemnisation of marriages: form 78 need to be completed and returned to the address above
- each form 7 must be signed by 20 separate householders who regard the building as their usual place of worship
- the forms must be countersigned by a trustee or proprietor of the building.
- include a cheque or postal order made payable to 'Gloucestershire County Council' for the statutory fee of £120
If you want the building be certified as a place of worship and registered for marriage at the same time, forms 76 and 78 can be submitted together, along with the relevant fees and other requested information
Please note: the forms for registration of the building for worship must be dated before those for marriage
What happens to your application
Once we receive the information, we send it to the General Register Office (GRO) for authorisation. When the GRO certify a building for worship, it will be recorded in the list of places of meeting for religious worship maintained at the General Register and one of the forms 76 will be returned to you.
When GRO register a building for marriage, Gloucestershire Registration Service is required to send a certificate of the registration to the proprietor or trustee who countersigned the householders' certificates. Public notice of the registration must be advertised in a local newspaper and in the London Gazette.
If a place of worship is no longer in use
If the congregation stops using the building, there is a legal obligation to let the Registrar General know.
You will need to complete Notice of disuse: form 77. It can be signed by any person who can represent the congregation.
If the building is demolished and re-built on the same foundations within a year and will be used by the same congregation, the certification and registration will not be affected.