Coalition of Celebrant Associations

Australia’s Peak Celebrant Body

What religions are recognised under Subdivision A of the Australian Marriage Act

All persons who solemnise marriages in Australia must be authorised under the one Marriage Act.  Marriage celebrants are in three categories in the Marriage Act 1961 under:

  • Division 1—Subdivision A—Ministers of recognised religions 
  • Division 1—Subdivision B—State and Territory officers etc.
  • Division 1—Subdivision C—Marriage celebrants - Independent civil and minority religious

Over 70% of all marriage celebrants (23,001 marriage celebrants) from these 142  Recognised Religions below and (504 marriage celebrants) from 476 smaller religious groups are exempted under Section 45 of the Marriage Act from the couple giving consent in the ceremony, if this is not in the church rite.* 

Both religious groups are also exempted under Section 113 from making it clear to the guests at a religious wedding, when the marriage being celebrated, that the couple are already married; and marriage celebrants from thes Recognised Religions below are also exempted under Section 46 from declaring they are also performing a marriage under Australian law when they do so.

Division 1—Subdivision A—Ministers of recognised religions 
Marriage (Recognised Denominations) Proclamation 
References: 2007 Proclamation - 2015 Proclamation -

Signed and sealed with the Great Seal of Australia on 29 October 2015

  • A2A Ltd.
  • Aboriginal Evangelical Fellowship of Australia
  • Ananda Marga
  • Anglican Catholic Church in Australia, The
  • Anglican Church of Australia,
  • The Antiochian Orthodox Church
  • Apostolic Church Australia Limited
  • Apostolic Church of Queensland, The
  • Armenian Apostolic Church in Australia, The
  • Assembly of God Church of Samoa in Australia Inc
  • Associated Christian Ministries
  • Associated Christian Spiritual Churches of Australia
  • Australian Christadelphian Ecclesia
  • Australian Christian Churches
  • Australian Church of Antioch, The
  • Australian Fellowship of Bible­believing Churches
  • Australian Fellowship of Mission Centres (Youth with a Mission)
  • Australian Indigenous Ministries
  • Australian Unitarian Druze
  • Australian United Shia Islamic Councils Incorporated
  • Australian Zoroastrian Association of NSW Incorporated
  • Autocephalic Greek Orthodox Church of America and Australia
  • Baha’i Faith
  • Baptist Union of Australia, The
  • Belarusian Autocephalous Orthodox Church in Australia and Abroad
  • Bethesda Ministries International Incorporated
  • Brethren
  • C3 Church Global
  • Calvary Life Assemblies
  • Caodai Overseas Missionary (Australia) Incorporated
  • Chinese Methodist Church in Australia
  • Christian and Missionary Alliance of Australia, The
  • Christian Brethren
  • Christian Church in Australia
  • Christian Church, The
  • Christian Israelite Church
  • Christian Outreach Centre
  • Christian Reformed Churches of Australia
  • Churches of Christ in Australia
  • Church of God (Australia) Limited
  • Church of Jesus Christ of Latter‑Day Saints (Australia), The
  • Church of Scientology Incorporated, The
  • Church of the Foursquare Gospel (Australia) Limited
  • Church of the Foursquare Gospel in Australia
  • Church of the Nazarene
  • Church of Tonga in Australia, The
  • Churches of Christ in Australia
  • Community of Christ
  • Congregational Christian Church in Samoa, The
  • Congregational Federation of Australia and New Zealand
  • Connexions Ltd
  • Cook Islands Christian Church
  • Coptic Orthodox Church of Australia
  • CRC Churches International
  • Crosslink Christian Network
  • Dream Centre Christian Church Limited
  • Evangelical Presbyterian Church of Australia, The
  • Edge Church International Ltd
  • Federation of Australian Buddhist Councils
  • Federation of Reformed Christian Churches of the Pacific Australia Incorporated
  • Fellowship of Congregational Churches
  • Fellowship of Evangelical Churches in Australia
  • Fellowship of Independent Evangelical Churches
  • Free Church of Tonga, The
  • Free Reformed Churches of Australia
  • Free Serbian Orthodox Church, Diocese for Australia and New Zealand
  • Full Gospel Churches of Australia
  • German Evangelical Lutheran Church
  • Goshen Ministry International Outreach
  • Grace Communion International Ltd
  • Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia
  • Hindu Council of Australia, The
  • Holy Apostolic Catholic Assyrian Church of the East
  • Hope Ministries Australia
  • Hungarian Reformed Church of Australia, The
  • Iglesia ni Cristo
  • Independent Baptist Fellowship
  • Independent Baptists of Australia
  • Independent Church of Australia, The
  • Indian Orthodox Church Incorporated
  • International Council of Spiritualists
  • International Society for Krishna Consciousness
  • Islam
  • Jehovah’s Witnesses
  • Jerwry
  • Korean Presbyterian Reformed Church Incorporated
  • Latvian Evangelical Lutheran Church in Victoria, The
  • Liberal Catholic Church, The
  • Life Church International Limited
  • Lutheran Church of Australia Incorporated, The
  • Macedonian-­Bulgarian Eastern Orthodox Church
  • Macedonian Orthodox Church, Diocese of Australia and New Zealand
  • Mar Thoma Syrian Church of Malabar
  • Ministers Fellowship International
  • National Sikh Council of Australia Inc
  • New Apostolic Church in Australia, The
  • New Church in Australia, The
  • One Light Federation
  • OzReach
  • Pacific LMS Church Australasia Inc.
  • Peace Christian Ministries Limited
  • Potters House Christian Fellowship of Australia, The
  • Power of the Spirit Ltd
  • Presbyterian Church of Australia, The
  • Presbyterian Church of Eastern Australia
  • Presbyterian Reformed Church
  • Reach Out for Christ Limited
  • Reformed Presbyterian Church of Australia, The
  • Religious Society of Friends, The
  • Restoration Fellowships International
  • Revival Centres International
  • Revival Fellowship, The
  • Rhema Family Churches Australia
  • Riverview Church Incorporated
  • Roman Catholic Church
  • Romanian Orthodox Church
  • Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia
  • Sabian Mandaean Religious Community
  • Salvation Army, The
  • Serbian Orthodox Church in Australia and New Zealand, The
  • Seventh­-day Adventist Church
  • Shree Sanatan Dharm Pratinidhi Sabha of Australia Inc
  • Spirit of the Earth Medicine Society
  • Society of Saint Pius X Limited
  • Southern Cross Association of Churches, The
  • Strict and Particular Baptist Churches of Australia, The
  • Syrian Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia and New Zealand (Patriarchal Vicarate) Limited
  • Ukrainian Autocephalic Orthodox Church in Diaspora, Diocese of Australia and New Zealand
  • Ukrainian Catholic Church in Australia.
  • Unitarians
  • United Aborigines Mission
  • United Church of God — Australia
  • United Pentecostal Church of Australia
  • United Spiritualism of Australia
  • Uniting Church in Australia, The
  • Victorian Spiritualists’ Union
  • Victory Life Centre Incorporated
  • Welsh Calvinistic Methodist Connexion in Victoria, The
  • Wesleyan Methodist Church, The
  • Presbyterian Church, The
  • Worship Centre Christian Churches Worldwide (Australia) Ltd
  • Vineyard Churches Australia

See Division 1—Subdivision C—Marriage celebrants - Independent minority religious


* @ 13 November 2017

** Section 26 of the Marriage Act 1961 (the Act) provides that the Governor-General may, by Proclamation, declare a religious body or a religious organisation to be a recognised denomination for the purposes of the Act.

Religious bodies or organisations declared by the Governor‑General to be recognised denominations under section 26 of the Act are permitted to nominate their ministers of religion directly to the state and territory registrar of births, deaths and marriages for authorisation as marriage celebrants.

In 2007, the Marriage (Recognised Denominations) Proclamation 2007 (the 2007 Proclamation) was made. The last amending recognised denomination Proclamation, the  Marriage (Recognised Denominations) Amendment (New Denominations and Other Name Changes) Proclamation 2015, was made by the Governor‑General on 29 October 2015 There are currently 142 denominations recognised by virtue of the 2007 Proclamation and its subsequent amendments.

The Act specifies no conditions that need to be satisfied before the power to make the Proclamation may be exercised.

The Proclamation is a legislative instrument for the purposes of the Legislative Instruments Act 2003. pPursuant to section 17 of the Legislative Instruments Act 2003 consultation was undertaken with the organisations given recognised denomination status by the subsequent amending proclamations.

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