Frequently asked questions

Q. How do I arrange a wedding in one of your churches?

A: We’re delighted you are thinking about celebrating your marriage with us. Our Resources page has a section about marriage which should help answer your questions, and direct you towards your next steps.

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Q. What is a ‘benefice’? 

A1. Essentially it’s another term for a parish or a group of parishes. In our case, the four former Church of England parishes of Chitterne, Orcheston, Shrewton and Tilshead were merged, in January 2014, into the new Salisbury Plain Benefice.

A2. The Oxford English Dictionary defines it as: ‘n. Church living; property held held by an ecclesiastical officer esp. rector or vicar.’

A3. On Wikipedia: ‘The term benefice, according to the canon law of the Church of England, denotes an ecclesiastical office (but not always a cure of souls) in which the incumbent is required to perform certain duties or conditions of a spiritual kind (the “spiritualities”) while being supported by the revenues attached to the office (the “temporalities”),’

A4. Another Wikipedia article puts it more simply, ‘Benefices of the Church of England are made up of one or more parishes administered by a team of clergy and lay assistants. Benefices are usually grouped into a Deanery which in turn belong to a Diocese.’

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Q: I am doing some family history research and believe an ancestor may be buried in your churchyard. How can I confirm this?

A: We hold graveyard plans for the following churchyards: Shrewton, Rollestone, Maddington, Orcheston, Chitterne and Tilshead. If you think a relative or ancestor may be buried in one of these, please use the contact us form, giving us as much detail as possible and we will do our best to assist you.  

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