Marriage celebrants

The Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand is recognized as a religious body under Schedule 1 of the Marriage Act 1955. This means that the Presbyterian Church has the authority to add Ordained Ministers to the denominational list.

Adding an Ordained Minister to the List

Ministers of the Presbyterian Church are not added automatically when they are ordained. Rather, when the Minister is asked to perform their first wedding they must notify their Presbytery Clerk. The Presbytery Clerk will then write to the Parish and People Advisory Service who will make the addition. Once a Minister has joined the list they are on there ‘for life’ unless:

  • The Presbytery Clerk requests that their name be removed; or,
  • The Minister requests that their name be removed; or,
  • The Assembly Executive Secretary advises that the Minister is no longer on the Roll.

Contact details, such as address, are updated at the end of each calendar year. All other changes to the denominational list are made as they are notified.

Adding a Lay Person to the List

The Presbyterian Church has limited discretion to add lay people to the list where there is no other person in the parish (or the vicinity) who is licensed to conduct weddings. The lay person must be actively involved in parish life and have taken on pastoral duties in the absence of an Ordained Minister. Once an Ordained Minister is inducted into the parish, the Presbytery Clerk will then notify the Parish and People Advisory Service to remove the lay person’s name from the denominational list. Likewise, where a person is appointed to a lay supply role, they will be removed from the denominational list on the expiry of their agreement with the parish. Any lay person interested in undertaking marriages outside of the parish (i.e. as a community celebrant) should apply to the Department of Internal Affairs to become a celebrant in their own right.

Contact Information

To request to be added or deleted from the denominational list, or to assess eligibility please contact your Presbytery Clerk. To update details on the list, please contact the Margaret Fawcett. To become a marriage celebrant in your own right please contact
births, deaths and marriages, Department of Internal Affairs.

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