Married readers are reassured

With reference to the article ‘Weddings may not be recognised in church’s eyes’ (Eastbourne Herald, March 18), please will you reassure your readers that if they married in All Saints’ Hospital Chapel their marriage most certainly is recognised and valid in the eyes of the Church.

There are two reasons for this.

First, couples who married in that chapel had to apply for an Archbishop’s Licence, which means they received the permission of the Archbishop of Canterbury to marry in the chapel.

Couples will no doubt recall the form-filling that accompanied their application, but also of course their marriage certificate will state that they were married “by Archbishop’s Licence”.

The Archbishop would hardly have granted a licence if he was thought the marriage would not be recognised by the church.

Second, the Church of England recognises all marriages as “valid in the eyes of the Church” (or God, for that matter) whether the marriage took place in church, chapel or any other venue.

I was Church of England assistant hospital chaplain at the Eastbourne Hospitals NHS Trust (which included All Saints’ Hospital) from 1990-1995.

I did not conduct any weddings personally as at that time I was not Ordained Priest, but I was involved in organising the Archbishop’s Licences which included stating the venue of the proposed marriage and I am well aware of the amount of work that was involved in making sure all was valid both from the Church and the State point of view.

I hope this will reassure those who married in All Saints’ Hospital Chapel.

Sallyanne Attwater (Revd)

St Kitts Drive