Baptisms, Weddings & Funerals

Baptisms


What is Baptism?

Baptism marks the moment that someone becomes a member of the church. Adults make their own commitment and promises but for children, those promises are made on their behalf by parents and Godparents.

To read more about baptism see:

C of E Baptism
Baptism at St. Paul
How do I arrange a Baptism?

To start the process, please contact Reverend Lisa Temperley-Barnes
(
Telephone: 01509 - 890972) to arrange a suitable service for the Baptism.

After that a member of the Pastoral Team will arrange to visit you and answer any questions you might have.

You will need to complete an application form during the visit.

What does it cost?

Baptism is free.


Godparents

The role of Godparents is to speak on behalf of the infant being baptised, to support the parents in bringing up the child as a Christian within the family of the Church.

In order they can fulfil their role Godparents need to be able to make the declarations and promises in the baptism service, which is why the Church of England requires all Godparents to be baptised themselves and normally to be confirmed as well (or the equivalent if they are members of a Christian denomination other than the Church of England).


Baptism at St. Paul

Weddings

Wedding at St. Paul


Getting married in our Churches

Making your marriage the best day of your life is really important to us. From the moment you contact us you until your marriage we treat each couple individually. We'll help you to think through what happens on the day including the vows you make and the music you might choose. Before your special day we'll offer you an opportunity to attend a marriage preparation day with other couples to make sure your experience of marriage is as good as possible.

We know just how much planning is involved. Please contact our Parish Office for information or please look at the Church of England's website 
Weddings which is packed with information.

The Church of England’s Marriage Measures which is a guidance to becoming married in one of our three Benefice Churches can be read
HERE.
 


 

Can I be married in this parish?

The Church of England has changed its rules from the beginning of October 2008 to make it easier for people to be married in church. Everyone has a right to be married in their own parish church but quite often people want to marry in a parish where neither of them live. They might have family living there or a special connection. If you want to know if this applies to you please check the new regulations at
CofE News.


Wedding at St. Paul
Wedding at St. Paul


Can I get married if I'm divorced?

We recognise that relationships can end despite everyone's best efforts. Jesus made it clear that God always gives us a second chance.  Our parish regularly marries people who have been divorced. If one or both of you has been married before and you are now divorced you are not excluded from being married in our churches. We are keen to support you as positively and sensitively as possible, so please do call for further information.

Funerals



What happens when somebody dies?

Coping with the death of a close friend or relative is an emotional time. News of a death can often be a shock. Then there are practical arrangements to be made: friends and relatives to be informed, the death to be registered and the funeral to be booked and planned.

Sometimes the practical stuff can postpone how we feel about the loss of somebody close. Once the busy tasks have been dealt with the natural human reactions to the loss can progress.

That is when you may feel you would like further help and support. The clergy who become involved in your funeral will remain a channel for you to work through that grieving process.

Who do I have to contact?

The first practical point of contact is a funeral director. They are familiar with all types of funeral service, religious and secular. They can advise and also make all the practical arrangements for you, including contacting a member of the clergy and booking the church or crematorium. You have the choice of the type of funeral you want and where it is held.

Please remember that sometimes the deceased person's wishes for their funeral arrangements have been recorded in their will.

You do not need to register the death before contacting the funeral director. But you will need to register the death within a few days.

A range of helpful information can be found at:

http://www.registeringadeath.co.uk


Once a member of clergy has been allocated to the funeral they will contact you and arrange to visit. They, along with your funeral director, will then support your plans for the funeral. The clergy are also trained in supporting those who are bereaved and will be happy to answer any questions and, if you wish, pray for you and others and the person who has died.


How is the funeral arranged?

The funeral director makes the practical arrangements, finding out the availability of the church and/or crematorium, cemetery, and booking these and a member of clergy or Reader who can conduct the service. They can also advise on flowers, donations, obituary notices in the press, service sheets for the funeral and disposal of ashes.
Funeral at St. Paul
Funeral at St. Paul
What are the choices for the content of a funeral service?

Planning a funeral service can be a difficult task. It is an emotional time and deciding what are the right words and music may not be easy. The clergy or Reader who visits you to discuss funeral arrangements will be sensitive to your wishes and can advise on what you might like to include. We can provide a booklet that helps with the process.

We are happy to include music from a tape or CD and to have readings or poems from non-biblical sources. Above all, we want the service to reflect your wishes and to be appropriate for the person who has died.


What sort of funeral can I have?

There are many choices for funerals. Commonly, a funeral service is held in church and the coffin is then taken to the crematorium for a brief “commital” where loved ones can say their final farewell.

The whole service can be held at the crematorium, though the timed slots of just 30 minutes may restrict what you would like to include in the service. If a person is cremated you will then have a choice of what to do with the ashes.

If the coffin is to be buried, that can be arranged either in a churchyard that has not been declared “closed” or in a local cemetery. A modern alternative for the more environmentally conscious is to use a natural burial ground using an eco-friendly coffin of natural sustainable materials (see natural burial ).