Church Exterior Landscape

Rev John Murning

Tel: 0141 316 2678

Mob: 0777 286 5027






“Marriage is the simplest kind of human sharing.

It is God’s means of providing for a man and woman

To live together in love, joy, and trust, and for enabling

Children to be brought up in the strength of a happy home.

So, it has a special place in the Bible and the Christian tradition.”

The above statement on marriage explains perfectly the importance of marriage in the life of Sherwood Greenlaw Parish Church.  We are glad that you are thinking of taking this important step in your life, and that the love you now feel for each other will grow as you get to know one another better in the years to come.


It is not necessary for you to be a member of the Church to get married within it, but there are two important questions you and your fiancé should answer honestly together:

1. Why do you want to get married in church?

2. What difference does it make to you both to say your vows before God?


However, while we do not expect people to become members of the church in order to get married here, we ask couples to honour the commitment they are about to make by attending church regularly prior to their marriage in order to learn about the faith to which they are declaring within the vows they make to one another on the Wedding Day. 


If you would like to become a member of the church, the minister will be happy to discuss this with you and arrange for you to attend a separate church membership course.


It is also in your own interest that you should consult with the minister first about the date of your marriage before confirming hotel bookings, bridal cars, photographers, etc.  This will save you time and expense if the minister and church is not available to you on that date.



 A couple intending to marry should visit the Registrar five or six weeks before the date of the wedding to obtain a marriage notice, (Minimum notice period is now 28 days or 70 days if the Home Office is involved with someone from outside the United Kingdom) which should be returned to the Registrar, preferably, 28 days before the intended marriage.  If the marriage is a first marriage, the only documents you need to submit are your birth certificates.  If it is a second marriage the following documents are required:


1.       Birth Certificate or adoption certificate.

2.       Evidence of your usual residence.

3.       Valid Passport

4.       If either party is divorced, the former marriage certificate and a copy of the decree of the divorce or annulment of the former marriage.  For a divorce obtained outside of Scotland, the decree must be absolute; a decree nisi is not acceptable.

5.       If either person is a widow or a widower, the death certificate of the former partner must be submitted.


NB.  If either person lives outside the United Kingdom a certificate issued by a competent authority in his/her own country must be submitted stating that no impediment to marriage is known.


When the Registrar is satisfied there is no legal impediment to the marriage, they will prepare the marriage schedule.  It is important to give the name of the minister celebrating the marriage Reverend John Murning, and the official name of the Church where it is to take place, SHERWOOD GREENLAW CHURCH OF SCOTLAND.  It is advisable to have the following information with you at the Registrars:


1.       Full name of Bride’s mother (Including her maiden name) and father, and likewise for the Groom’s mother and father.2.       Both fathers’ occupations

2.       Full name and addresses of the Best Man and Bridesmaid.


The Registrar will inform you when to collect your marriage schedule.  This must be handed to the Minister prior to the service and the details checked before the wedding ceremony can begin.  IT IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO BRING THE MARRIAGE SCHEDULE ON THE DAY OF THE WEDDING AND NOT THE MINISTERS.


The two witnesses are normally the Best Man and chief Bridesmaid.  By law the witnesses must be over sixteen years of age, so if the Best man or Chief bridesmaid is under sixteen years another witness must be appointed to sign the schedule.  The schedule must be written in fountain pen and not ballpoint and must be returned to the Registrar WITHIN THREE DAYS duly signed.



 Your marriage is unique.  Therefore, the service planned for you is often unique.  However, there are basic ingredients to every good marriage service.  The style of service used within Sherwood Greenlaw tries to blend the modern with the traditional, and is informal yet dignified, to allow people to feel at ease within the church.


The basic ingredients to the wedding service are as follows:


Bridal March > Bride processes down the aisle with her bridesmaid and father, led by the minister >Welcome and introduction > Hymn > Marriage statement > Any objections to marriage > Prayer >Candle lighting ceremony> Vows > Rings > Blessing > Scripture Readings > Address > Presentation of certificate > Prayer > Hymn > Benediction > Signing of Schedule > Wedding March.


The candle lighting ceremony is a way of involving members of the family and the guests at your wedding, to make a commitment to you both and to support you in your future marriage. To mark the union of the two families, we suggest a member from each of your families, (perhaps the mothers or brother or sister), come forward and light a candle, and on completion of your vows the bride and groom light a third candle signifying the marriage union before God and your friends and family.

There is also a Celtic hand tying ceremony that can also be used within the service, and the Minister will talk you through any other options you would like as part of your wedding ceremony.


The minister is happy to include other items, such as a guest singer, a special piece of music, or poem that may have a significant meaning for the couple.  We invite you to choose your own Scripture Readings and you may even wish to write a special prayer to be used in your marriage ceremony.



The following are a selection of readings most often used in the marriage ceremony.  Read over the passages and get a feel for what the Bible says about marriage, and then think carefully about what you feel applies to you and your partner.  You can have as many readings as you like, but it is suggested that one from the Old Testament, one from the Gospels, and one from the New Testament letters are sufficient.  Tell the minister which readings you have chosen and why, and who you would like to read them at the ceremony.



Here in this selection we find the words of Jesus about love and marriage.


Matthew 7v21, 24-29: Jesus speaks about the foundations on which we should build our life.

Matthew 5v1-12:  The beatitudes.  Jesus speaks about gentleness, mercy, love, and coping with trouble and strife.

Mark 3v6-9:  Jesus recalls the importance of marriage, and the togetherness it demands of his children.

Mark 10v6-9: What God has joined together no one must separate.

Matthew 22v35-40:  Jesus tells us to love one another.

John 2v1-11: Jesus celebrates a wedding in Galilee.

John 5v9-12; 15v12-16; 17v20-26:  Jesus invites us to love one another as he first loved us.


Looks back at Gods plan for people and the love he showed towards them.


Genesis 1v26-31; 2v18-24:  Marriage as the union of two people, and the purpose of God for humankind.

Song of Songs 2v18-24: The nature of physical love.

Jeremiah 31v31-34: Speaks of the love God has for all people.

Psalm 33v2-9: The joy of nature

Psalm 67v1-7: A song of thanksgiving

Psalm 118v1-4: Gods love is everlasting

Psalm 144v9-15: A song of praise

Psalm 128v1-6:  Happiness in obeying God.


Speaks about love and its God given nature.

Romans 8v31-39: Gods love to us in Christ Jesus.

Romans 12v1-2, 9-13: Love in all sincerity.

1 Corinthians 13:  A hymn about love.

Ephesians 3v14-21: The strength of God.

Ephesians 5v1-2, 21-23: The marriage relationship.

Philippians 1v9-11: A prayer that love will grow richer.

1 Peter 3v1-12: The husband and wife relationship.

1 John 3v18-24: Courage before God.

1 John 4v7-13: The deepest meaning of love.

Revelation 19v1, 5-9: The wedding feast of God.


Choosing your music and your hymns is another important part of your wedding ceremony.  Both will depend very much on your own taste in music, and also what is appropriate music for use within a church service.  Music and hymns should be discussed with the minister and the organist and they will advise you of its suitability prior to going to the printers.  It is advisable to contact the Organist Donald Kennedy Tel: 581 7652 before you confirm the details of your choice with the printers.  If the organist does not know the music you wish to have played, it is your responsibility to ensure copies of the music are provided well in advance of the service to allow time to practice the new music.


If you wish, you can use the hymn and praise books available in the church rather than having printed hymn sheets, but the choice is entirely your own.  The following are a selection of hymns and songs that you might consider using in your wedding ceremony.


A new commandment CMP 1

All my hope on God is founded CH4 192/CMP 16

All things bright and beautiful CH4 137/CMP 23

Amazing grace CH4 555/CMP 31

As man and woman we were made CH4 700

Behold the amazing gift of love CH4 478

Bind us together Lord CMP 54

Blest be the tie that binds CMP 60

Christ is made the sure foundation CH4 200/CMP 73

God of heaven is present on earth SGP 101

Guide me O Thou great Jehovah CH4 167/CMP 201

How lovely is thy dwelling place CH4 52/CMP 247

How lovely on the mountains are the feet of him CMP 249

I danced in the morning CH4 404

Jesus calls us here to meet him CH4 510

Jesus loves me this I know CH4 564

Jesus stand among us at the meeting of our lives CMP 381

Let there be love shared among us CMP 411Look forward in faith  CH4 237

Love divine all loves excelling CH4 519/CMP 449

Lord in love and perfect wisdom CH4 702

Make me a channel of your peace CH4 528/CMP 456

May Gods blessing surround you each day CMP 460

Morning has broken CH4 212/CMP 467

Now thank we all our God CH4 182/CMP 486

O perfect love CMP 517

One more step along the world I go CH4 530

Praise my soul the king of heaven CH4 160/CMP 560

Seek ye first the kingdom of God CH4 641/CMP 590

Sing to the Lord a joyful song CH4 184/CMP 929

Tell out my soul CH4 286/CMP 631

The grace of life is theirs CH4 698

The King of Love my shepherd is CH4 462/CMP 649

The Lords my shepherd CH4 14/CMP 660

Through the love of God our saviour CH4 562

We come dear Lord to celebrate CH4 696

Will you come and follow me CH4 533

Planning your reception will often be in the hands of the 

hotel, but always bear in mind it is your day, and your


arrangements that the hotel must meet.  There are many

 books about planning a wedding, Planning your 

reception will often be in the hands of the hotel, but 

always bear in mind it is your day, and your 

arrangements that the hotel must meet.  There are many

 books about planning a wedding, and even who should 

speak and what the speech should contain.  However, the

 following is a summary you might find helpful.

          Keep speeches short and to the point

          Write them down and stick to what you have written

          Use small cards or postcards rather than a large                   typed sheet

The format of the speeches can be in whatever order you wish.  The following is a suggested outline.

1.   Toast to the Bride and Groom.  Chair Person/Family Member

2.   Groom replies. Gives thanks to parents, guests for coming to service            and for gifts received. He ends speech  by toasting the bridesmaids. 

3.   Best man replies on behalf of the bridesmaids. Thanks the groom for          his kind words and reads the emails, wedding cards etc. It is helpful to        select no more than a dozen and say that they come from the bride's,        aunt and uncle, or office, etc.  Best Men then may say a few words              about the Groom !!!

4.   Bride's father.  Does not have to speak, but may wish to propose the          toast to the Bride and Groom at the beginning.  He may then welcome          the Groom into the family, thank the hotel staff and the guests for            coming.  

5.   Other speeches can be organised also, sometimes the Groom's father          or other member of the family may wish to say a few words.

The chairperson will usually introduce the speakers in turn, and will keep the proceedings moving as quickly and smoothly as possible.  Most hotels now have their own chairperson/toast master to introduce the speakers.  If you really wish the minister to attend your reception and act as chairperson, you should invite him to do so.  However, it is not always possible for the minister to attend due to other responsibilities, and they will not be offended at not being asked.