Place of Worship
Under the provision of the Places of Worship Registration Act 1855, a congregation may apply for a building to be certified as a place of worship by applying to the Superintendent Registrar in the district in which the building is situated. This excludes churches or chapels of the Church of England, unless they share a church building with another religious denomination.
The person who acts as 'minister', 'proprietor' or 'Trustee' at the place of worship has to complete two copies of Form 76 - Certifying a place of meeting for religious worship under the places of worship registration act 1855.
The two copies of the completed Form 76 should be sent to the registration office accompanied by:
- a sketch of the floor plan identifying which rooms will be used for worship,
- an average weekly timetable of how the building will be used,
- the statutory fee is £29.00. Please contact the Register Office to arrange payment by credit/debit card.
Place of Marriage
If you wish the place of worship to become a place where marriages can take place, Form 78 - Certificate and application for the registration of a place of religious worship for the solemnization of marriages under section 41 of the Marriage Act 1949 should be completed and if wished, Form 78A – Certificate that consent has been given for a building to be registered for the solemnization of marriages of same-sex couples. If possible this application should be made with the original application for a place of worship. However the request can only be actioned after the date of certification of the building as a place of worship.
Form 78 requires signatures of 20 separate householders who are prepared to state that the building is their usual place of worship and that they desire it to be registered for the solemnization for marriages. Full guidance notes are available on the gov.uk website.
The statutory fee is £123 (or £64 where the building is already registered under S43A Mge Act 1949). Please contact the Register Office to arrange payment by credit/debit card.
After the completed forms are received, they are checked and sent to the General Register Office (GRO) for authorisation. Once the GRO certify a building for worship and marriage, the register office are required to advertise the new place of worship in the London Gazette and a local newspaper. A certificate is sent to the applicant, stating that the building is now certified as a place for worship and marriage and a written confirmation of this is also sent.
If the place of worship is in disuse or another minister/proprietor takes over the place of worship, Form 77 - Notice of disuse of a certified place of meeting for religious worship to be given to the register general, pursuant to the places of worship registration act 1855 needs to be completed.
More information can be found at the GRO website.