Visitation From The Bishop

The Bishop visits each congregation in the Episcopal Church of New Hampshire at least every two years. At this time, he will typically confirm or receive members of the church, and may also officiate at baptisms, meet with the vestry, attend an adult forum or stay for a special meal. The Bishop no longer hosts regional confirmations - if a congregation has members who would like to be confirmed or received, but the Bishop is not scheduled for a visit within an appropriate time frame, please call the Bishop's Office to make arrangements.  

The Bishop's Visitation schedule September through December 2017

Whenever the Bishop comes to visit your congregation, please fill out a Bishop's Visitation Procedures Form (Word) or (pdf) at least two weeks before the visit and please sent an order of worship for the Bishop's approval at least one week before the visit. 

Bishop's Visitation Guidelines

After the Bishop's visit, clergy should complete and send a Verification Form (word) or (pdf) for all confirmations, receptions or reaffirmations. 

Permission To Officiate 

Permission to officiate from Bishop Hirschfeld is required by canon for clergy who are not canonically resident in the Episcopal Church of New Hampshire and who would like to perform a funeral, wedding, supply, or other priestly duties.

Please fill out a Permission to Officiate request form (Word) or (pdf) and email or mail it to Tina Pickering, Executive to the Bishop, at A Letter of Good Standing from the priest's Bishop is also required. 

Marriage and Remarriage

For Canonically Resident Clergy: 

Clergy who are canonically resident in New Hampshire are automatically licensed by the State of New Hampshire to perform marriages.

Clergy are required to obtain permission from the Bishop if a marriage will take place less than 30 days from the couple signifying their intention to the clergy person - in such case, the clergy person should be in touch the Bishop immediately.

Clergy are also required to obtain permission from the Bishop to marry anyone who has been previously married and divorced. In such case, please fill out a Remarriage Permission Form (Word) or (PDF).

All persons intending to be married should sign a Declaration of Intention (Word) or (PDF).

If permission from the Bishop has been obtained, clergy should complete and send in a Solemnization Form following the ceremony to close the file. 

For Non-Canonically Resident Clergy:

Clergy who are not canonically resident in New Hampshire must obtain permission to officiate from Bishop Hirschfeld. If the marriage involves any person who has been previously married, permission to remarry them must be obtained from the clergy person's own Bishop. Evidence of this permission must be submitted to Bishop Hirschfeld along with the permission to officiate form and a Letter of Good Standing. Clergy should obtain permission from clergy in the nearest cure to record the marriage there (please indicate on the permission to officiate form). 

In addition, clergy who do not live in New Hampshire must apply to the State of New Hampshire to obtain a temporary license and pay a fee. Click here for state requirements

Clergy should complete and send in a Solemnization Form following the ceremony to close the file. 

New Marriage Liturgies:

Two new marriage liturgies were authorized for trial use at the 2015 General Convention.

One of the liturgies—The Celebration and Blessing of a Marriage 2—is a gender-neutral version of the marriage service in the 1979 Book of Common Prayer. The other—The Witnessing and Blessing of a Marriage—was originally approved in 2012 for blessing same-sex unions, then revised in 2015 to include vows of marriage.

Both liturgies are contained in Liturgical Resources 1: I Will Bless You and You Will be a Blessing, Revised and Expanded 2015, which was authorized by the passage of Resolution A054.

Clergy are welcome to use these liturgies in marriage ceremonies and encouraged to report any feedback to The Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music.

Annual Reporting By Clergy

Those clergy who will not be submitting a parochial report are required to submit an annual report to the Bishop on the "exercise of office" [Canon I.6]. This typically includes Deacons, Licensed Clergy, and those clergy who are ministering outside of a parish setting. Annual Report forms are due each year by January 31. 

Annual Report form for Canonically Resident Deacons

Annual Report form for Licensed Clergy

Annual Report form for Extra-Parochial Clergy

Contact Us With Questions

For additional information and help with any of these procedures, please contact Tina Pickering, Executive Assistant to the Bishop, at or (603) 224-1914