Special Licence

The Archbishop of Canterbury has the right to grant a Special Licence for a marriage to take place at any convenient time or place in England or Wales. The issue of a Special Licence is discretionary, and the Archbishop’s power to issue such Licences is issued cautiously. The most common need for a Special Licence is if the parties wish to be married elsewhere than in a building which is authorised for marriage according to the rites and ceremonies of the Church of England: for example, a school, college or university chapel. Many weddings in cathedrals also take place by Special Licence. Sometimes – but more rarely since 2008 – a Special Licence is granted where the parties wish to be married in a church or chapel of a parish where neither resides or is on the church electoral roll, and where neither can show a qualifying connection under the Church of England Marriage Measure 2008.

All enquiries about a Special Marriage Licence should be made to:

The Faculty Office of the Archbishop of Canterbury

1 The Sanctuary,

Tel: 0207 222 5381
Email: faculty.office@1Thesanctuary.com