Here to help
The Registry is the legal office of the Diocese of Sheffield. It provides legal advice to clergy, parish officers, boards and councils. The Registry also oversees the faculty system which enables churches to make changes to their buildings.
The work of the Diocesan Registry includes:
- The licensing of clergy and lay office-holders;
- Patronage; maintenance of a patronage register; notification of vacancies in benefices;
- The consecration of churches and churchyards;
- The operation of the faculty system; processing of faculty applications;
- The issue of common marriage licences;
- Maintenance of diocesan records;
- Advice to clergy;
- Clergy disciplinary matters.
Sheffield Diocesan Registry
Anthony Collins Solicitors
134 Edmund Street
Or…contact the Registry Clerk, Tim Lewis
Matters dealt with by the Registry include:
Common Marriage Licences
The normal prelude to a church wedding is the reading of the banns. In some circumstances, you will need instead to apply for a Special Licence or a Common Licence. Special Licences are granted by the Archbishop of Canterbury. A Common Licence is the Bishop’s permission to marry in a particular church in the diocese.
This is the case if you and your partner are both British citizens, nationals of a member country of the EEA or Switzerland, but:
- you or your partner is resident outside of England or Wales; or
- you plan to marry in less than a month (leaving no time for banns to be read).
If you think you need a common licence please consult Church of England guidance on such licences and contact the Diocesan Registry as soon as possible. The Registrar will establish your eligibility or otherwise. You will need to provide the Registry with proofs of identity and address, as well as completing a short questionnaire. You will also need – at some point – to swear an oath in the presence of a legal officer of the Diocese.
A limited number of members of the clergy have the authority to conduct common marriage licence ceremonies. They are known as surrogates.
The current cost of a Common Marriage Licence is £200.
List of Chancellor’s Surrogates in the Diocese of Sheffield
|The Revd Canon Philip Batchford
|St Pauls Vicarage
256 Kimberworth Road
|The Ven. Malcolm Chamberlain
Archdeacon of Sheffield and Rotherham
|Diocesan Church House
95-99 Effingham Street
|The Revd Sue Hammersley
|4 St Mark’s Crescent
|0114 266 0260
|The Revd Canon Geoffrey Harbord
|c/o Diocesan Church House
95-99 Effingham Street
|The Revd David Hopkin
|The Revd Neil Redeyoff
|The Revd Canon Dr Matthew Rhodes
389A Fulwood Road
|0114 229 5813
|The Revd Canon Eleanor Robertshaw
|The Revd Canon Rick Stordy
|St John’s Vicarage
23 Housley Park
|0114 257 0966
Grave Space Reservations
Many churchyards are now closed to further burials. Before submitting a petition, please consult the minister or churchwardens responsible for the churchyard in which you wish to reserve a space. As part of the process, you will need to display public notices that you are applying for a burial space. The views of the church council, churchwardens and minister responsible for the churchyard will be considered as part of the process.
An application to reserve a grave space can be made by lodging a petition for faculty with the Diocesan Registry. Please complete a petition form and send it to the Registry with the fee (currently £327.40), which is payable upon application.
Whether the application is successful is at the discretion of the Chancellor of the Diocese, sitting as Judge in the Consistory Court.
If you have lost someone dear to you, you may wish to seek to erect a memorial (i.e. a headstone) to them in the churchyard where they are buried. For this, you should complete a memorial permission form and submit it to the minister responsible for the churchyard in question. Please note that memorials can only be installed after six months have elapsed from the date of burial.
The Churchyard Regulations of the Diocese of Sheffield govern the kind of memorials that are permissible. They prescribe the shapes and materials that may be used for headstones and offer guidance on appropriate inscriptions, which should be simple, dignified and consistent with Christian doctrine. They also specify some of the things that are not permitted in the Diocese’s churchyards (e.g. kerbstones, chippings, extravagant shapes or materials). Please consult the Diocese of Sheffield Churchyard Regulations before approaching a stonemason or submitting an application.
If the minister decides that the memorial you wish to install does not comply with the Diocese’s Churchyard Regulations, you have the right to apply instead to the Consistory Court. For this, you will need to submit a petition form to the Registry, accompanied by a standard petition fee (currently £327.40).
For further information and advice on any of the above, please do not hesitate to contact us.