Churches Together‎ > ‎Projects‎ > ‎Royal Wedding‎ > ‎

Related issues

With thanks to the Media Office of the Archbishop's Council for this background detail to TV licences and related matters to showing the Royal Wedding on 29 April 2011:

What licence you need
Whatever the context you need a licence to watch or show any TV broadcast live (or almost live).  The TV licence is attached to a building.  Usually that means a house. But there's no problem showing a programme in a church building or a hall as long as you have a license for that building - the licence for the vicarage next door won't do.
 
The size of the audience is irrelevant.  Some churches got a licence in order to show World Cup matches on a big screen.  From the TV licensing point of view there's no problem showing the wedding to a large group in church as long as you have a licence for that building.  It makes no difference whether you are showing it on a TV or through a computer, or whether you are projecting it. 
 
Outdoor showing
It is considered almost impossible for a church to show the wedding in the open air without a special licence from the broadcaster, which is practically impossible. 
 
Charging
A lot of people think that charging for admission makes a difference.  In fact it doesn't make any difference to the need for a TV licence.  There's nothing in principle to prevent a church from charging.  The tricky bit there is that if you sell tickets for an event it may start to look like a show rather than a party or a community event - and that might mean you would need a public entertainment license.  It would be simpler to ask for donations, as you might for a Summer Fair.
 
Public entertainment licences
These are provided by the local authority.  This is normally needed if you are going to gather an audience for music, dancing, showing a film etc.  But there are specific exceptions for acts of worship and also, crucially, for watching live TV broadcasts. So there shouldn't be any need for a public entertainment license on that score. 
 
A public entertainment licence would be needed if a church wanted to sell or serve alcohol.  A church would also need a public entertainment licence if the event were to include music (live or recorded) or dancing.  (Worship is excepted.)  A licence is also needed to show a pre-recorded TV programme or film (unless the context could be described as "training")…so you couldn't record the wedding and show it later. 
 
As long as the building has a TV licence for the building (which costs £145.50) a church can have a party including food, dancing, worship and most other things.
Comments