Legal standing of ministers

As with most faith and belief communities, OneSpirit ministers are ordained and certified by our own self-governing community, operating independently of the State. Marriage ceremonies are the only aspect of ministry in which specific legal aspects apply, and the laws governing marriage vary in Scotland, Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, England and Wales.

In Scotland, the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, OneSpirit ministers are recognised by the Registrar’s office as able to perform full legal wedding ceremonies. In England and Wales, generally speaking, couples who wish a OneSpirit minister to take their marriage ceremony need to have the legal side of their marriage formalised at a registry office.

In Scotland: OneSpirit ministers are authorised to hold legal marriage ceremonies, including opposite sex marriages, same sex marriages and same sex civil partnerships. Ceremonies can be held in any appropriate place and at any time. OneSpirit ministers from other parts of the UK can apply for temporary permission to hold a legal wedding in Scotland.

In Ireland: OneSpirit ministers who are on the Register of Solemnisers can perform a legal wedding including same-sex marriage. Ceremonies can take place at an outside venue if the couple wishes (as long as it has an identifiable address, and public access). OneSpirit ministers resident in the UK who wish to marry a couple in Ireland can apply for temporary solemniser status, which will usually be granted. OneSpirit ministers in Ireland cannot perform same-sex civil partnerships.

In England and Wales: OneSpirit ministers can perform a wedding blessing ceremony at any indoor or outdoor venue with no legal restrictions, and the couple will generally hold the legal element of the marriage at a registry office beforehand. In certain rare circumstances our Ministers can legally conduct marriages in certain buildings.

All our graduates adhere to a clear Code of Ethics and  Registered Ministers are also required to hold professional indemnity insurance.