Handfasting has been an ancient form of marriage since before Christianity reached the country. Where it is legal to be handfasted, it is not recognised in England and Wales as a legal form of marriage, such as Christian ceremonies are. In this open and free age it's time to follow Scotland's lead.
1. Recognise Pagan handfasting as a legal form of marriage in England and Wales
11/03/2021 - Petitions
Found: Handfasting has been an ancient form of marriage since before Christianity reached the country. Where
22/11/2018 - Parliamentary Research
Found: marriages which take place in another country: may be recognised 4 1.4 Unregistered religious marriages
3. A consultation on same-sex religious marriage and conversion entitlements in Northern Ireland
20/01/2020 - Northern Ireland Office
- View source
Marriage and Civil Partnership
4. A consultation on same-sex religious marriage and conversion entitlements in Northern Ireland
20/01/2020 - Government Equalities Office (GEO)
- View source
Marriage and Civil Partnership
5. Bill 203 EN 2019-21
02/12/2020 - Bill Documents
1. Marriage and Religious Weddings
28/06/2021 - Lords Chamber
1: “explore the legal and practical challenges of limited reform relating to the law on marriage and religious - Speech Link
2: systematic reform, so any changes present both legal and practical challenges. That is why the Law Commission - Speech Link
3: has been no evidence of any meaningful progress since I first raised these issues over 10 years ago. As - Speech Link
2. Education (Assemblies) Bill [HL]
10/09/2021 - Lords Chamber
1: am indebted to all noble Lords who have taken the time to attend and speak today, and to Humanists UK for - Speech Link
3. Persecution of Christians Overseas
18/07/2019 - Commons Chamber
1: report, which was published 10 days ago. I also thank Open Doors and Aid to the Church in Need for their tireless - Speech Link
2: countries—countries to which we give considerable aid in the form of money, expert advice and so on—does he believe - Speech Link
3: right hon. Gentleman makes.In Pakistan, Christian woman Asia Bibi was sentenced to death for blasphemy - Speech Link
4. Islamic Ceremony: Civil Marriage Registration
28/02/2019 - Lords Chamber
1: what plans they have to review the Marriage Act 1949 to make it a legal requirement for Muslim couples to - Speech Link
2: exploring the legal and practical challenges of limited reform relating to the law on marriage and religious - Speech Link
3: Government’s commitment to explore the legal and practical challenges of marriage reform, I ask the Minister for - Speech Link
5. Northern Ireland (Executive Formation) Bill
15/07/2019 - Lords Chamber
You may be interested in these active petitions
According to the 2011 census, there were almost 53,000 pagans in the UK. This may not seem a lot, but even a small amount deserves the chance to wed in a ceremony appropriate to their beliefs and religion. With the 2021 census this may rise, and as a result it may be time we move to change this countrywide, not just Glastonbury and Scotland. England and Wales deserve the chance to wed in a Pagan religious ceremony. I know I'm not the only one who thinks this.
Thursday 10th June 2021
The Law Commission’s review of how and where people legally marry in England and Wales will make recommendations later this year to allow greater choice and respect individuals’ wishes and beliefs.
How and where marriages can take place in England and Wales so that they are legally recognised is tightly regulated. Much of the current law dates from 1836 and has developed piecemeal over many years. It is complex and has never been subjected to systematic reform.
The current legal requirements for marriage differ depending on the type of wedding. At present, couples have to make a choice between a religious or a civil ceremony, with no option for a ceremony reflecting other beliefs. Couples having an Anglican wedding can give notice to the church; all other couples must give notice at the register office. With few exceptions, all couples must have their wedding either in a place of worship or licensed secular venue and cannot marry outdoors or even in the garden of a licensed venue.
In 2019 the Government asked the Law Commission to undertake a review of the law on how and where people legally marry in England and Wales. The review seeks to provide recommendations for a reformed law of weddings that allows for greater choice within a simple, fair and consistent legal structure. A reformed law could better meet the needs of a modern and diverse society. The review will consider all aspects of the formalities which a couple are required to go through in order to have a legally recognised marriage. This includes the preliminaries to the wedding - also known as giving notice - as well as rules about the ceremony itself (where it can take place, who must attend and what must be said, and the registration of the marriage).
The Law Commission consulted on its proposals between September 2020 and January 2021. If implemented, these proposals would permit weddings to take place in a location chosen by the couple, and couples would be able to marry outdoors and in their own homes. If implemented, the law would no longer require religious groups to conduct marriages in a place of worship but would allow them to decide for themselves where their ceremonies could take place, facilitating more religious ceremonies to take place outdoors or in secular venues. There would be no legal requirement for specific words to be spoken, giving couples greater freedom as to the form their wedding takes, enabling the law to recognise the variety of ceremonies that people use to mark their weddings. Subject to complying with the necessary legal preliminaries, it is expected that these proposals would allow couples who wish to have a Pagan wedding ceremony to marry outdoors and to have their own form of ceremony which is legally recognised.
The Law Commission is currently analysing the many responses to its consultation and is expected to publish its report and final recommendations late this year. The Government will give these recommendations careful consideration.
Ministry of Justice