WHEN A VALUABLE SERVICE BECOMES INVALUABLE

Registrars at Halton Borough Council perform more than 250 wedding ceremonies a year, but some are more urgent than others.

Terminally ill patients with a wish to get married can do so, using the Registration Service to ensure that their wishes are carried out and they are able to marry their loved one.

Over the lockdown period, there have been three requests for this service to be performed in hospices and people’s own homes.

Halton’s Superintendent Registrar, Andrew Lucas said : “Under normal circumstances you must give notice at least 29 days before your ceremony. However where one partner is seriously ill and not expected to recover, for example in hospital, a Registrar General’s Licence may be issued to speed up the process, as long as the necessary paperwork is in order.”

He added: “We will always ensure a marriage in these circumstances will be performed in a dignified and legal manner. It is therefore essential that a request of this kind is dealt with immediately.”

A marriage by Registrar General’s Licence is a difficult and emotional duty to deliver, particularly under the present circumstances with PPE and the added safety considerations.

Cllr Stef Nelson, the Council’s Executive Board Member for the Registration Service, says: “This is an invaluable service that we are proud to offer to people in these special circumstances.

“It is another example of how the right training and skills provide resilience within our Registration Service giving them the ability to accommodate the requests of our residents.”

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