We are thrilled that you are thinking about holding your wedding ceremony at St Mary’s. Marriage is one of life’s most significant mile-stones and there has been a long tradition of weddings and services of dedication at this historic church. Whether it is a quiet, simple service in the Chancel or a full, flower-bedecked wedding in the Nave, we endeavour to meet all requirements with thoughtful care and efficiency. We can offer the services of a professional choir and mark the occasion with peals of bells from one of the dreamiest spires in Oxford. 

From your first contact with the Church Office, right through to the ceremony, we will guide you step-by-step through the process with care which is tailored to each couple’s requirements.

Who qualifies to marry at the University Church?

An early enquiry about a wedding enables us to sort out the legal requirements, which will differ from couple to couple. We try to be as accommodating as possible. There are, however, some clear legal restrictions, some of which depend on residence in the parish.

You are able to marry at the University Church if one of you:

  • was baptised in the parish or
  • was prepared for confirmation in the parish or
  • has at any time lived in the parish for a period of at least 6 months or
  • has at any time regularly gone to Church of England services in the parish church for a period of at least 6 months

Or that one of your parents, at any time after you were born:

  • has lived in the parish for a period of at least 6 months or
  • has regularly gone to Church of England church services in the parish church for a period of at least 6 months

Or that one of your parents or grandparents:

  • was married in the parish (this means St Mary’s, not a college chapel)

Those who fall into any of the above categories and have a spouse still living from a former marriage are also welcome to discuss their plans with one of the clergy. Foreign nationals and UK subjects living abroad who have connections to St Mary’s are also welcome to contact the clergy. To set up a meeting with one of the clergy, call 01865 279110 or email the Administrator at admin@universitychurch.ox.ac.uk.

If you are in any doubt about whether you qualify, please ask. If you do not qualify to be married at St Mary’s, then it may be possible for you to be married in a civil ceremony and to have a service of dedication at the University Church. 

Civil Partnerships and Equal Marriage


Our clergy will offer support and guidance to all who wish to live in loving, faithful, committed relationships, whatever their gender. At present we are not permitted by law to marry people of the same sex. In December 2023, the House of Bishops of the Church of England commended a series of resources entitled Prayers of Love and Faith for use by parish clergy at their discretion under Canon B5 of the Canons of the Church of England. The Parochial Church Council has endorsed the use of these prayers unanimously. 

The University Church seeks to be an inclusive community where people who identify as LGBTQ are welcomed and affirmed. While the clergy have to operate within the discipline of the Church of England, they will always seek to respond pastorally and sensitively to requests for prayer and support. They do so with the full support of the Parochial Church Council and the Bishop of Oxford.

We would be delighted to help you to prepare prayerfully for your Civil Marriage or your Civil Partnership, and you can be assured of a sensitive and supportive response from us. Please contact the Vicar directly. To set up a meeting, call 01865 279114 or email the Revd Dr William Lamb at vicar@universitychurch.ox.ac.uk.

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