Registering a building for worship or for worship and marriage

The person who acts as minister, proprietor or trustee at the place of worship has to complete two copies of Form 76 (Form for certifying a place of meeting for religious worship under the Places of Worship Registration Act 1855).

The completed forms should be sent to the Register Office with a sketch of the floor plan of the building identifying which rooms will be used for worship and the purpose of the other rooms and an average weekly timetable of how the building will be used. A cheque or postal order for the statutory fee of £28, made payable to Bradford Council, should be sent with the forms.

Worship and Marriage

If it is decided that the place of worship should also become a place where marriages can take place Form 78 needs to be completed (application for the registration of a place of religious worship for the solemnisation of marriages under section 41 of the Marriage Act 1949).

This should be dealt with if possible together with the original application for a place of worship but can be requested at any time after the date of certification of the building as a place of worship.

Form 78 requires signatures from at least 20 separate householders who say that the building is their usual place of worship and that they desire it to be registered for the solemnisation of marriages, the form is countersigned by a proprietor or trustee. A statutory fee of £120 is payable by cheque or postal order made payable to Bradford Council.

Once the information has been received at the Register Office it will be sent to the Registrar General for authorisation. The Register Office is then required to advertise the registration of the building for marriages in a local paper and the London Gazette and the proprietor or trustee who countersigned the householders’ certificates will be sent a certificate of the registration.

Disuse of building and possible re-certification

When a certified place of meeting for religious worship has wholly ceased to be used for that purpose by the congregation on whose behalf it was certified Form 77 needs to be completed (Notice of disuse of a certified place of meeting for religious worship).

Ideally this notice should be signed by a person connected with the place or worship in the presence of the Superintendent Registrar, alternatively it can be returned to the Superintendent Registrar by post. When the Registrar General is satisfied that any place of worship has wholly ceased to be used by the congregation of the denomination on whose behalf it was last certified, he will cancel the record and give public notice of this and it will be deleted from the list of certified places.

When a certified place of worship is transferred from the congregation on whose behalf it was certified to one of a different denomination a notice of disuse should be given on behalf of the out-going congregation and then the place of worship should be re-certified on behalf of the incoming congregation if they so wish.

When a certified place of worship is completely pulled down and a building of the same denomination is erected on the original foundations re-certification is not normally necessary, providing the new building is finished within a year of the demolition.

Any change to the description or address or change in the prime purpose of the use of any building certified by the Registrar General should be notified to him.

For more information about the registration of religious buildings please contact Bradford and Keighley Register Office.

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