The Church of St Leonard at Wroxall is the only church in the UK offering Christian marriages, that is sited in the grounds of a hotel. The Wroxall Abbey Hotel generously hosts our congregation, and we welcome our local congregation, visitors, and particularly delight in the opportunity to share an opportunity for reflection, prayer and worship with guests of the hotel.
Not just a wedding venue, the Church is steeped in a thousand years of dedication to the Lord, and our ministers and congregation continue this work in modern times - an active, thriving and joyous expression of the grace and glory of the Lord. If you are considering solemnising your marriage at the Church of St Leonard at Wroxall, you are welcome to come along and join us at our weekly service, or make an appointment with one of our ministers.
This is a special place, that has connected generations across the centuries. Our ministers will share its ancient history, its miracles - and the extraordinary love story where it all began.
The Church of St Leonard is registered with the Warwick registration office to conduct religious marriage ceremonies.
This means that your marriage will be performed by one of our authorised ministers.
We are an independent Christian church (not a Church of England church), and we are church members of the Order of St Leonard (a full member of Churches Together in England). We join many independent churches in membership and enjoy fellowship and connection with our friends in Christ,
OSL is also a member of the Evangelical Alliance and the Free Churches Group.
Religious Marriage Ceremonies allow couples to be married at the Church of St Leonard, according to their Christian faith and the ceremony will include hymns, worship, prayers, and bible readings. An initial meeting with the Minister is required, and certain requirements must be met to confirm that the marriage ceremony is possible.
Civil Marriage Ceremonies are conducted by Registrars - and carried out at Registry Offices and other authorised buildings. Civil Ceremonies are not permitted to contain any religious content. It is not possible to arrange a Civil Ceremony at the Church of St Leonard.
Our Christian expression celebrates unity throughout Christian denominations, and our team encompasses evangelical, charismatic, liturgical and contemporary expressions of worship.
The ceremony may be formal and traditional - such as with hymns and readings, or expressed with contemporary praise and worship. In either case, this will be a Christian marriage ceremony,
We have our own director of worship music, and there are options to suit your own expression, such as with organ style music, worship musicians, choirs, soloists etc.
The Church of St Leonard is situated on a private estate, a few steps from the Wroxall Abbey Hotel. The Church ministers have a wonderful relationship with the Wroxall Abbey Hotel team and we are delighted to liaise with them regarding logistics, once your marriage ceremony has been agreed with the Minister.
It is important to note that a religious marriage service at the Church cannot be directly booked by the Wroxall Abbey Hotel (even if a reception is being held at the hotel). However, we understand that the on-site proximity and facilities make the hotel a popular choice for receptions, and we will co-ordinate arrangements in this case. Marriage ceremonies can be organised at the Church without any obligation to arrange facilities at the hotel - and, in all cases, the religious marriage ceremony must be arranged directly with the church minister.
None of the foregoing relates to civil marriage ceremonies (which are not provided by the Church, but which are available at the Wroxall Abbey Hotel).
The Church can accommodate guests, plus the wedding couple and space for additional musicians. There is no minimum number, and the Church has accommodated intimate weddings of just a few people, where preferred. We can accommodate 130 people in the pews and seating in the main part of the church. The pews have red cushioned seats for comfort.
Additional seating in the Choir area, is often utilised for musicians and choir.
Wheelchair accessibility: chairs will normally be removed from the rear of the church to support space required.
For larger weddings, overflow seating arrangements can be made (the hotel has various options alongside the Church including a marquee, and live relay options). This would be by separate arrangement with the Wroxall Abbey Hotel, but could potentially accommodate 500 people.
We are happy to allow flowers in the church and will provide information on permitted placement, access to the church, and removal of flowers after the service.
You may incorporate battery operated candles (and you are welcome to use ours, too) but insurance forbids members of the public from using live flames in the building.
Decorations and other items will need to be discussed with the Minister, but for general information, and due to the Grade I listed status of this extraordinary building, we do not permit extensive decoration of the church (such as with banners) - but we are sensitive and welcoming of items such as framed photographs in remembrance of a family member, for example.
Biodegradable confetti, dried petals etc are permitted, on exiting the Church.
Food and drinks are not permitted within the Church. Guests should ensure mobile phones are silenced.
Our Ministers are committed to supporting couples as they prepare for their marriage and we offer marriage preparation support ahead of this lifelong commitment.
We provide details on all areas of marriage preparation upon request - please contact the Minister via the contact form.
Part of planning your wedding will include attending the church on at least three occasions - this gives an opportunity to make a connection with the church, reflect on the commitment you are making to one another and to God.
In the busy-ness of invitations, food choices, flowers and favours - we provide the space to focus on the reason you have chosen to spend your lives together, God’s love for you, and your love for one another.
There is a fee for the marriage ceremony. This covers the arrangements, preliminary meeting, Minister, rehearsal and administrative costs associated with arranging your marriage, and the support of a Verger (who prepares the church, welcomes and directs your guests and supports co-ordination of the service on the day of the wedding).
If music is required, musicians and performing rights‘ fees are payable. We have a range of recommended musicians. Fees are based on Musician’s Union rates for Wedding Ceremonies. Additional fees are payable for rehearsals. Musician fees are paid directly to the musicians.
Due to the many options available, it’s best to speak with the Minister and look at your individual preferences.
What days/times can we get married?Legally, at any time - but we will discuss this with you. We do not offer ceremonies after 1pm on a Sunday, due to our afternoon congregation service. There are occasional dates throughout the year that are also unavailable (including Good Friday, Easter Sunday, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day)
The Church of England only permits marriages to take place between 8am and 6pm, however we do have more flexibility and would be happy to consider an evening ceremony.
Must I be baptised or confirmed to be married in the Church?
No. As with many churches, our Ministers recognise the complexity of faith and Christian expression. However, we acknowledge that a marriage in Church reflects the desire for the couple to include God’s blessing in their union.
Must I regularly attend the Church to be married there?
While you are welcome to join our congregation, it is not a lengthy requirement. You will just need to attend a minimum of three services prior to your wedding..
The church was built in the 14th Century, as an addition to the original Priory of St Leonard which was completed in 1141AD. The ruins of the old Priory are visible a few steps from the church.
St Leonard of Noblat was a Frankish monk, and patron saint of those in captivity - he represents freedom from all bonds (emotional, physical, situational). He performed many miracles in his lifetime, and dedicated his life to the service of others - creating a supportive community in the Frankish forests to provide work and meaningful activity.
Very much so! in its thousand year history it represents a love story, freedom, devotion - and Some very notable connections, including William Shakespeare and Sir Christopher Wren. One of our ministers, Mandy Cooper, will be delighted to share the history with you during your wedding preliminary meeting. You may even wish to incorporate the story into your information for your guests.
This is an ancient building, that is nearly 700 years old. It holds regular weekly services for its local congregation, so is habitable, and our loyal congregation keep it clean. However, it is, as you might expect, lacking in modern amenities. The church itself has no toilets (facilities are just outside - with a toilet block about 30 seconds walk away, or use of the facilities within the hotel itself. There is ample parking on site - and mostly level access (just one step up through the church door). Heating is via wall mounted infra-red heaters - which are switched on early in the day, prior to your service. However, it doesn’t currently have a full central heating system, so we’d recommend your guests come prepared. Some people like to place throws or blankets on the pews, and this can be a nice and cosy way of looking after your guests. But, you’ll have an opportunity to try it for yourself during your first visit.
No. We are an independent, Christian church. We celebrate a diverse expression of worship - from joyful praise, to modern monastic reflection. We’d describe ourselves as a mixture of evangelical, pentecostal, liturgical and charismatic - but all those things simply mean that we love God, believe in God the Father, Jesus, His Son, and the Holy Spirit. We expect to see miracles, we preach the Word, we worship, praise and pray, we hold communion, pray for the sick - and we love people. We are part of Churches Together, and have excellent relationships and friendships with other local churches.
Bishop David Carr has served this region for over 50 years, founded one of the largest churches in the UK, and was awarded an OBE by our late Queen Elizabeth II in 2016.
Rev Canon Dave Cooper has been in church ministry and leadership for 20 years, and holds a Masters Degree in Applied Theology, alongside his ordination credentials. The wider team have been involved in ministry for a minimum of 20 years each, and each hold different giftings including prayer ministry, theological teaching, worship, discipleship and chaplaincy.