Church of England welcomes marriage registration changes

Royal Assent was received on 26 March 2019 to the Civil Partnerships, Marriages and Deaths (Registration etc) Act 2019; the Church of England issued the following Press Release on the changes relating to the marriage registration.

Bishop and MP welcome marriage registration changes by Parliament


The Bishop of St Albans together with Dame Caroline Spelman MP have welcomed changes made by parliament to allow for mothers’ names to be included on marriage certificates.

Royal Assent was received yesterday to the Civil Partnerships, Marriages and Deaths (Registration etc) Act following a Private Member’s Bill.

Dr Alan Smith, together with Dame Caroline, who is the Second Church Estates Commissioner, made the following statement:

“The passing of this Bill into law is to be welcomed and marks a significant step forward.

“After years of tireless work by politicians, faith-leaders and campaigners, we have finally achieved tangible progress towards the equal treatment of both parents.
“We would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who have been so involved in this campaign.

“Prior to this Act, which relies heavily on wording from our own Private Members Bill, only fathers’ names were formerly recorded when marriages were registered, a custom unchanged since 1837.

“This clear and historic injustice reflected the time when children and wives were considered property of men and it is high time for this to be corrected.

“For clergy, the most notable change will be the easier electronic registration which will ease the workload of the celebrant in line with other practices such as in Scotland.

“The Church will look forward to working with our clergy, parishioners and the Government to make sure this Act comes into force swiftly and delivers for all.’

More information

Civil Partnerships, Marriages and Deaths (Registration etc) Act 2019


This and the other components of the new Act are reviewed in our post Opposite sex civil partnerships which we will revise and reissue now that Royal Assent has been granted.

Cite this article as: David Pocklington, "Church of England welcomes marriage registration changes" in Law & Religion UK, 27 March 2019,

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