Baptisms, Weddings and Funerals

Funerals

To arrange a funeral, please call the Parish Office.

Baptisms

Children are a gift from God. Naturally, many parents want to celebrate their arrival with some form of service in church. St. Mary’s is part of the Church of England which, like many churches, recognises two main services to celebrate the birth of a child:

  • Thanksgiving
  • Baptism (somtimes called “Christening”)

Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a service for those who wish, quite simply, to say “thank you” to God for their child. Prayers are said, the child is named and blessed and a gospel is given which tells the story of Jesus.

Baptism

Baptism is for those who want to state their desire to bring up their child as a Christian. It therefore involves words of commitment to Jesus Christ and to church. As well as the words of commitment, the child is named, water is poured over the child, and prayers are said.

Baptism is the mark of being part of the Christian Church. Families bringing their child for baptism hope that one day their child will be confirmed and make this commitment to Jesus and to church for themselves.

You will need to think very carefully about this service as you will be asked to make a clear personal confession of the Christian faith.

What to do next

Call the parish office to talk through further and arrange a date.

Weddingswedding

At St. Mary’s we believe that Christian marriage is a gift from God. In the marriage ceremony, a couple make a public declaration of lifelong commitment to love each other, come what may.

[Photograph by Claire Robinson]

 

Some frequently asked questions:

Am I eligible?

You are eligible to marry at St. Mary’s if one or other of you lives in the parish or if you are on the electoral roll of the church, for example, because you worship here on a regular basis.

I/my future spouse is divorced. Can we remarry in Church?

The Church of England teaches that marriage is for life. It also recognises that, sadly, some marriages do fail and, if this should happen, it seeks to be available for all involved. The Church accepts that, in exceptional circumstances, a divorced person may marry again in church during the lifetime of a former spouse. So please call the Parish Office for further information.

What are the legal requirements?

You must not be married already! If you are under the age of eighteen, you must have your parent’s consent to marry.

What are banns?

Banns are announcement of your intention to marry and a chance for anyone to put forward a reason why you may not lawfully do so. You must have your banns read out in church for three Sundays during the three months before the wedding.

Banns need to be read in the parish where you are to marry and in the parish where each of you lives. So if you are marrying at St. Mary’s and both live in the parish, you will only need your banns read here. If one of you lives elsewhere, you will also need to have your banns read in that parish. If you are marrying elsewhere, but one or other of you lives in St. Mary’s parish, you will need your banns read here too. (See below for Banns fees.)

How much will it cost?

The legal fees for a marriage are set centrally and 2007 rates are:

Marriage service £424.00
Publication of banns £ 28.00
Banns Certificate £ 13.00
Organist (optional) Depends on individual organist
Video (optional) Depends on the provider
A deposit of £50 is paid when the date is agreed. The balance must be paid in full at least two weeks before the wedding. Payment may be made in instalments. Please make cheques payable to “St. Mary’s PCC”.

To book a wedding, or for any other queries, please call the Parish Office.

Need some more help?

The Church of England provides from free wedding resources