Ministers of the Church of Scotland are authorised to perform weddings anywhere in Scotland. The Church does not regard marriage as a sacrament and ministers are free to marry people who are not members of the Church of Scotland. 

These notes have been prepared for your guidance but if you have any questions, please ask!

A Prayer for your Wedding Day

O God, we thank you for our Wedding Day; for the Service, the Reception, the friends and relatives who share the day with us.

May the joy and happiness we know today be something we share throughout our married life.

Lord, teach us to talk things over together and how to be tolerant when we disagree.

Lord, teach us to be unselfish and to do what is best for our partner in all situations.

Lord God, take our marriage and with it ourselves, help us to grow in love for each other and for You.


You must contact the registrar in the district where the wedding is to take place at least six to eight weeks before the date of the wedding. Our local registrar details are: Registrar of Marriages (Licensing & Registration Office, Town House, 102 Cadzow Street, Hamilton, tel. 03031231015, or by phoning 01698 453792 to make an appointment for a Monday or Friday at the East Kilbride Office in the Civic Centre) at least six to eight weeks before the wedding to obtain the Marriage Notice Forms. The bride and groom must complete Marriage Notice Forms which are returned to the registrar along with both birth certificates. You will also need divorce papers if either of you has been divorced or the death certificate of the former spouse if either of you has been widowed. Please note that marriage notice forms must be completed and lodged at least 29 days before the date of the wedding. You will also be asked to complete a witness details form. You can get these forms and other relevant paperwork from any registration office in Scotland.

In completing the form, you will need the Minister’s full name, which is: Rev. Dr. Shaw James Paterson; and designation which is: Minister at Strathaven: Trinity Parish Church.

The registrar will process your documents, and prepare the Marriage Schedule (the document that is signed on your wedding day). This will only be handed over to either the bride or the groom and only within seven days of the wedding. On the wedding day itself either the groom or the best man must bring the Marriage Schedule with him and hand it to the Minister before the start of the service. Without it there can be no marriage!

The signed Marriage Schedule must be returned to the registrar who issued it within three days of the marriage so that the marriage can be registered.

(If either or both or you are not British citizens, you will also need additional documents. You should speak to the registrar in advance for advice.)

If you wish to get married in a church, Strathaven: Trinity Parish Church has three places of worship:

  • Chapelton Church, Bents Road, Chapelton
  • Glassford Church, Glassford
  • Trinity Church, Lethame Road, Strathaven

As has already been said, ministers can also conduct weddings outwith a church.

It is essential to consult the minister before finalising Hymns and Music for the service, and before printing of the Wedding Order of Service. Please complete the enclosed slip and return it to the minister at your next meeting.


Flowers look well on the Church’s pedestals and on the table in the Vestibule of the Church. Please do not place them on the Communion Table or in the Baptismal Font. Flowers are sometimes placed on the end of the pews for guests.

Church furnishings cannot be moved without prior consent of the Minister.

Photographs of the Wedding Service can only be taken inside the Church by the appointed photographer – from the Gallery in Strathaven and Glassford and from the rear of the Church in Chapelton. So as not to cause a distraction to the service or to the guests it is not possible for the photographer to use “flash” inside the Church.

A video recording may be made of the wedding service by prior arrangement of the Minister and Organist – as long as no ‘copyright’ music is included. An additional fee may be payable to the Organist if the service is recorded.

The video recording can only be made from Gallery in Strathaven and Glassford or rear of the Church in Chapelton.

REMEMBER: Photographers and video operators are employed by you, and as such should provide the service you request. Please ensure they are aware of the Church regulations and that they adhere to your time limits both before the wedding itself and before the reception so as not to inconvenience your guests by being late.

It is possible to arrange to have your wedding service live streamed (and/or recorded) at our Strathaven building.

Please appoint two or more guests to act as ushers. Brief them to arrive early to WELCOME guests, to hand to them the Hymn Sheets or Hymn Books and particularly to show them to their seats. Traditionally the bride’s family sit on the left hand side of the centre pews – the groom’s on the right hand side of the centre pews.

Smoking is NOT permitted in Church!

Only biodegradable confetti is permitted on church grounds.

There is no fee for the use of our church buildings. A modest fee is paid to the church officer for opening up and taking care of the building, and to the organist (if required). The minister will inform you of these at the time of your wedding.


Baptism is one of the two sacraments recognised by the Church of Scotland, the other being the Sacrament of Holy Communion. In the case of infant baptism, the Church expects at least one parent or other close family member either to be a member of the Church or willing to become a member.

In the baptismal service those appropriate adults profess their own faith and promise to give the child a Christian upbringing.

In the case of adult baptism, the person themselves makes the appropriate promises.

Baptism is normally administered at Sunday worship in front of the congregation. This emphasises the nature of the sacrament as incorporation into the body of Christ and the life of the Church. There is a little more flexibility in certain cases when the baptism can be conducted in private.

If you are interested in being baptised, or having your child baptised, or just want to know a bit more about it, please contact the minister in the first instance.

The thanksgiving and blessing of a child

The Church has provided orders for the thanksgiving for, and blessing of, a child. The blessing ceremony takes place at morning worship following the same pattern as that for Baptism, except the wording and promises are different, and no water is used. Nothing is required of the parents in either commitment or belief. 


A brief guide to funerals for families and friends.

When someone we love dies, life takes on a whole new set of challenges. It may be that the one we love has battled long and hard against an illness or it could be that this has been a sudden loss which no one could have anticipated. Whatever the circumstances, no one can really prepare us for what it feels like.

This information has been prepared by the Church of Scotland Ministries Council and is designed to explain some of the practical things you need to know. It is not written specifically for the bereaved but it may help in those circumstances. It is written for anyone who wants to know what to do, what to expect and where to turn for assistance.

The short answer to this is – anyone. Because the Church of Scotland is a national church, anyone may call on the services of the minister. This may be during a long illness, when life is ending, or in the immediate aftermath.

Whenever you feel it may help. Very often, the minister only knows a death has taken place when the funeral director calls. However, the minister is always happy to be called to support a family during illness and around hospital stays. The minister is not informed by the NHS if someone within the parish is ill or in need of support. So please, if it feels appropriate, don’t be afraid to call.

No. Use of Strathaven Trinity Parish Church is for anyone who lives in the parish or has a family connection to the parish and they may use the church for a funeral service.

Occasionally, people make their feelings known in advance and it may be that there is already a written plan, such as hymns already chosen. The minister can even help with planning. A visit to chat about what you want is not inappropriate and can be a help. Often, it is not until after the loved one has died that the family begin to wonder what to do. Many people begin by contacting the Funeral Director who will liaise with the minister regarding when they are available and checking that the church (and/or crematorium and/or graveyard) is also available. The Funeral Director will pass on all your contact information and the minister will phone to arrange a convenient time to talk about the service. At the meeting you will be asked about important events in the family history – such as when your loved one was born which schools they attended, first jobs, their relationships and so on. It is listening to you talk about your loved one that helps the minister to picture them, tell their story and then choose appropriate music, readings, poems and prayers. Also, if you have not already done so, to help you choose the hymns or other music you want. The minister and local church want to make this difficult time as bearable as possible. We will do all we can to support, care and carry out your wishes at this time. Please contact the minister if you need to know anything else.

There is no charge for the use of the church. However there is a small fee for the services of the organist and the church officer (the funeral director will look after this for you). There is no fee for the services of the minister.

Please call the minister anytime you wish to talk about this or any other matter.

Minister’s name: The Rev Dr Shaw J Paterson
Telephone number: 01357 520019

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Halls Hire

If you wish to enquire in regards to hiring a hall please fill out your name, email address and the type of intended event and someone will be in touch.