Bishop’s Surrogates for Marriage Licences

Bishop’s Surrogates are appointed by the Chancellor of the Diocese to assist couples who are to be married by common licence in the diocese.

Common licences can also be arranged through the Diocesan Registry.

Contact the Diocesan Registry

What is a Common Licence?

A Common Licence is a Bishop’s permission for a marriage to take place in a particular church. The issue of a Common Licence is at the discretion of the diocesan Bishop. In order to qualify for the issue of a Common Licence, either (1) one of the parties to the proposed marriage must have lived in the parish where the marriage is to take place for at least 15 days immediately preceding the date when the application for the Common Licence is made, or else must be on the church electoral roll or, (2) one of the parties must be able to show a ‘qualifying connection’ with the church, as defined in the Church of England Marriage Measure 2008.

An application for a Common Licence should not be made until the three month period prior to the proposed wedding date. The Licence will be valid for a maximum of three months (like a certificate that banns have been published) so if the Licence is issued too early it will expire before the proposed wedding date.

An application for a Common Licence may be made by prior appointment at the office of the Diocesan Registrar. However, for those living at some distance from the Diocesan Registry, an application may be made instead to one of a number of clergy around the diocese who have been appointed Surrogates for receiving marriage licence applications. The list of Surrogates is being reviewed to improve coverage across the diocese but in the interim Surrogates include the following:


Email         Revd Paul Beynon (Lostwithiel area) – Tel. 07896841802

Email         Revd Chris Painter (Tamar Valley area) – Tel. 01822 834170

Email         Revd Canon Jem Thorold (St Day area) – Tel. 01209 821645

Email         Revd Emma Childs (St Stephen-in-Brannel area – near St Austell) – Tel. 01726 822236


Ensuring that children and young people as well as adults are kept safe whilst in our care in an integral part of our diocese life.