The principal responsibility of the Chancery Office is to prepare and transmit official legal documents on behalf of the Diocese.
One of the main areas of work is the registration and forwarding of marriage documents worldwide, for couples where the Catholic party resides in the Diocese of Brentwood. The aim is to assist the clergy in what can be quite complex preparation of marriage documentation. (The marriage forms have been updated, and are now available via this page, under ‘Resources’.)
Marriage papers are sent to the Chancery Office from the parish of residence. They are processed, recorded and then forwarded to the Diocese where the marriage is to take place. That Diocese then grants a dispensation and records the details, before forwarding the marriage papers to the parish where the marriage is taking place.
Marriage papers are to be submitted to our Chancery Office no more than six months ahead of – but a minimum of six weeks before – the date of the wedding. (Should they arrive later than the minimum six weeks required, we cannot guarantee that the marriage papers will be processed in time.)
An acknowledgement email is sent to the Parish Priest on receipt of the marriage papers, and again if the marriage papers are being forwarded to another Diocese.
If the marriage is taking place outside England, Wales and Ireland, an authenticated set of the marriage papers will be sent to the couple, to take with them in case of postal delay or loss. (If the marriage is taking place in Ireland, a confirmation letter will be sent to the couple.)
At busy times, the voicemail will be on more than usual, to allow us to process marriage papers as quickly as possible.
Any queries regarding your marriage papers should be referred to your Parish Priest, who will make an enquiry on your behalf to our Chancery Office.
The Chancery Office also deals with queries regarding Pastoral Statistics, Celebrets, paperwork for Reception into the Church, Parish Boundaries and Papal Blessings (nb. Papal Blessings should be applied for via the Parish Priest) and other matters relating to Canon Law.
All queries from priests, parishioners, or the general public, can be dealt with by post, email, or telephone.
Please note that there are two incoming telephone lines into the Chancery office so, if the voicemail is on, please do leave a message as we may be on the other line, or dealing with queries.
The Chancery Office is open Monday – Friday, 9.30am – 1pm, 2pm – 5pm (strictly by appointment please.)
|Chancellor||Rt Rev Mgr Gordon F Read, MA, BD, JCL|
|Vice Chancellor||Rev Pius Collins, o.praem. STB, MA, JCL|
|Chancery Secretary||Miss Michaela Pearce|
You may download raw Parish statistics from the resources section