Introduction: Highlights of the Building
- This church has a long history, dating back to the laying of the foundation stone of the Old Church building in 1869, and the completion of the present church building in 1924.
- The magnificent William Morris stained glass windows at the front and rear of the church depict scenes from the life of Christ and give the interior of the church its distinctive character.
- The historic pipe organ, built in 1876, originally installed in St Peter’s Cathedral in North Adelaide, was relocated to St Augustine’s in 1931.
- The carillon of 13 bells ring out over Unley to call people to worship each Sunday morning and are also used literally as ‘wedding bells’ on wedding days.
- The church comfortably seats 250 people. Further seating can be arranged for up to 400.
Marriage: Designed by God at Creation
Jesus said about marriage:
‘At the beginning the Creator made them male and female and said, “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife and the two will become one flesh” So they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.’ (Matthew 19:4-6)
Marriage is the symbol of God’s unending love for his people and of the union between Christ and his Church. Vows of marriage should be honoured by all and not entered into lightly.
In particular, the marriage service sets out 3 purposes for marriage:
- Marriage is lifelong mutual companionship, help and support for good times and bad.
- Marriage is the context for the proper use of the gift of sex.
- Marriage establishes a new family in which children may be born and nurtured in secure and loving care.
A Christian Ceremony
Whilst marriage itself is a tradition that belongs to all communities (not simply Christian communities), the Anglican Church provides set forms of service for marriages. These have a Christian focus, putting marriage in the context of the teaching of the Bible and seeking to include the spiritual aspect of marriage in the service.
There are several ways in which the marriage service is distinctively Christian:
- The marriage vows are said “in the presence of God”
- The rings are exchanged “in the name of God”, and
- Prayers are said “through Jesus Christ our Lord”.
In addition to this, Bible readings play a key part, the minister will give a short sermon during the marriage service, and prayers are said for you and your marriage going forward.
Having said this, there are of course many ways for you to add your own personal touch, through choices of music and readings, plus other appropriate tributes.
In view of the significant life transition that marriage represents, it may also be helpful for you to refresh your understanding of the nature of Christian faith, and how it can contribute to a flourishing marriage. The minister will give an opportunity to talk about this during your preparation meetings.
Understanding faith and accepting Christ will be particularly relevant should you be keen in the future to have children baptised at St Augustine’s.
The Marriage Celebrant
Your marriage celebrant at St Augustine’s must be an Anglican Minister who is both registered as an authorized celebrant and holds the Archbishop’s licence or permission to officiate. This will normally be one of the ministers of St Augustine’s Church.
However you may request another Anglican minister known to you whom you would like to take your wedding at St Augustine’s. This is at the discretion of the Senior Minister (Parish Priest) of St Augustine’s.
Ministers of other Christian denominations may also be invited to take part in the service, in consultation with the Senior Minister.
Marriage preparation is very different from wedding preparation, and has a far more long-lasting impact. In the busyness of organizing venues, catering, invitations and the many other details of the wedding, it is crucial to invest time in thinking about what marriage is and how you will approach it. Your minister will talk with you about marriage preparation options.
- The core (non-negotiable) component of marriage preparation is the series of 3 meetings you will have with the minister, each of which broadly covers in turn: orientation, planning and rehearsal. (See Service Planning below)
- The optional component of marriage preparation is some form of structured pre-marriage course. Our church recommends the Prepare/Enrich course that is administered by AnglicareSA. The course includes 3 sessions, a questionnaire and a book, and costs $180. Because of our commitment not only to making your wedding special, but also to your preparation for marriage, St Augustine’s offers a $100 discount off our weddings fee for couples who provide evidence of completion of this course.
Organising Your Wedding
There are 3 components of making your wedding happen, should you wish to be married at St Augustine’s: event planning, legal requirements, and service planning. Usually they are organised in that order.
- Event Planning (submit Expression of Interest form)
Event planning includes the following:
- Enquiring about the availability of the church on your preferred date
- Paying a deposit to secure the date
- Arrangement of music (inc bells, organ, CDs), flowers and decorations, refreshments, etc.
- Paying the outstanding balance at least 2 weeks prior to the wedding
To start the event planning process, please submit an expression of interest form, either by mail or email. The admin team at the church will arrange most of these details with you.
Please note, we are unable to do weddings over the Easter weekend, on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, or on Sundays.
- Legal Requirements (submit Notice Of Intended Marriage)
The legal requirements are all taken care of by the minister conducting the marriage. The legal process begins with you submitting a Notice Of Intended Marriage (NOIM) to one of the ministers. This is a specific form from the Attorney General’s Department that needs to be filled out with great care to ensure all details are 100% accurate and legible.
The form must be submitted at least 1 month before a wedding can take place, but no more than 18 months prior.
This form should be submitted to the minister in person. At the same time he or she will and will need to do a face-to-face check of your identities (a birth certificate and/or a passport – original documents only, no copies).
- Service planning (Arrange meeting times with the minister)
Three (possibly four) face-to-face meetings should be scheduled, in addition to the wedding itself. For each of these, allow 60-90 mins:
a) Orientation – an opportunity to meet the minister, to get to know the building and facilities, to talk about marriage within the Christian context, and to ensure all administrative details are on track. This meeting is only for the married couple to attend.
b) Documents and Service Planning –(may require 2 separate meetings) – (i) The Notice Of Intended Marriage needs to be lodged with the minister no later than 1 month before the wedding. You will need to bring original ID documents with you. (ii) The minister will go through the marriage service in detail with you, ensuring all aspects have been considered. This meeting is only for the married couple to attend.
c) Rehearsal – all the practical aspects of the ceremony will be outlined and practiced, including the processional and exchanging of vows, etc. You should plan for this to take place on an evening 2-3 nights before the wedding (usually the Thursday night for a Saturday wedding). Also at this meeting, you will usually sign the No Legal Impediment To Marriage form. This meeting is for the entire bridal party to attend (ie, bride, groom, bridesmaids and groomsmen, plus any others involved in the ceremony).