Baptisms, Weddings and Funerals

One of the many ministries of the Church of England concerns three big life events: the birth of a child and subsequently baptism of that precious life with God’s sign of belonging; the marriage of one man to one woman for life before God; and at the end of life a funeral, which can be a celebration of a person’s life, giving thanks to God for their contributions to the lives of others, and committing them to the mercy of our Saviour Jesus Christ, before whose judgement seat we will all appear to give an account of what we have done with His offer of life.
 
To arrange or discuss any of these services please contact the Clergy

Baptisms

Baptisms usually take place at a family service, which is the gathering of the family of God in worship. We agree a date during baptism preparation when the clergy will visit you to explain the meaning of this important Christian event for both parents and child; it is often an opportunity to ask all those questions about the meaning of life, who Jesus is and how we can know Him personally and be filled with His Holy Spirit. It is important to think ahead as we don’t do baptisms on demand with no notice –  some planning is needed. More general information can be found on the Church of England's website covering both Baptism of children and adults.
 

Weddings

The Pastoral Introduction of the wedding service says: “A wedding is one of life’s great moments, a time of solemn commitment as well as good wishes, feasting and joy. The apostle John tells us how Jesus shared in such an occasion at Cana, and gave there a sign of new beginnings as He turned water into wine. Marriage is intended by God to be a creative relationship, as his blessing enables husband and wife to love and support each other in good times and in bad, and to share in the care and upbringing of children. For Christians, marriage is also an invitation to share life together in the Spirit of Jesus Christ. It is based upon a solemn, public and life-long covenant between a man and a woman, declared and celebrated in the presence of God and before witnesses. On this their wedding day the bride and bridegroom face each other, make their promises and receive God’s blessings. You are witnesses of the marriage, and express your support by your presence and your prayers. Your support does not end today: the couple will value continued encouragement in the days and years ahead of them. Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.1 Corinthians 13:4-7”
If you are thinking of getting married in one of our church buildings, do contact us in good time to check you have a qualifying connection (they are listed below - a qualifying connection to the benefice is needed for marriages in church); and then to explore possible dates for the service so that when you look for a reception venue, you know what possible dates we have available. We like to meet every couple early on so we can talk with you about all you need to know practically and legally.
We also run an Engaged Couples’ Evening early each year when we give out all the necessary information you need to know about the wedding - music, the service itself, the legal things, bells, and so on. And then a few weeks later we run a whole day Marriage Preparation Course when we talk about the rest of your lives – the marriage relationship, touching on communication, the differences between men and women, intimacy, children, family life, money,  establish good patterns of communication around differences, and lots of other really practical things we all need to know. Some more information can be found on the Church of England's website


Qualifying Connections

Below is the list which explains what a qualifying connection is with the churches in this benefice, and you will need to bring documentary proof when you come to book. To have a qualifying connection, one of you: -
       lives in the parish                     
Or   is on the Church’s electoral roll
Or   was baptised in the parish
Or   was prepared for confirmation in the parish
Or   has lived in the parish for at least six months 
Or   has attended normal church services in the parish for at least six months
Or   One of your parents has lived in the parish for at least six months at any time
Or   One of your parents or grandparents was married in the parish
Or   you have been granted a special licence
Or   you are resident in Hatch Warren with Beggarwood (or have lived there for 6 months)
 

Funerals

A church funeral is available to anyone and we are here to support you through one of life’s most challenging times. The clergy will conduct a funeral service, this can be either in church followed by burial or cremation, or the service can be entirely conducted at the crematorium. We will visit the bereaved to arrange the service as well as provide support throughout the process and beyond.
 
Our Bereavement Remembering Service is held annually usually around the end of October when we invite all those who have lost loved ones to a special service when we can give thanks for their lives, pray and light a candle in their memory.
 
For more information and ideas have a look at the Church of England's funeral pages.