We are really glad to know that you are thinking about having your baby or child christened or baptised (the words mean the same thing), and we are very pleased to welcome you and your child here at St Paul’s.
A christening or baptism service gives you the opportunity (in the company of your family and friends) to celebrate and thank God for his gift of new life. You might want to have a big family party afterwards! A christening though is also very much about putting your child at the start of the Christian journey of faith. During the service you will make promises to bring up your child within the church in such a way that they are helped to learn how to live as a Christian.
You will have chosen godparents and they will be at the service with you to promise their help and support. If you have a girl there should be two godmothers and one godfather. If your child is a boy there should be two godfathers and one godmother.
Here at St Paul’s we promise to welcome your child and to pray for you and your family.
We will arrange to see you before the christening in order to get to know you a little and for you to get to know us too. We will go through the service so that you know what to expect. We can provide you with further information about the Christian faith if you would like.
We offer christenings either during our main 10.30 service or at a separate service at 12.30 as we know that this can be a more convenient time for families. If you choose this time, since a christening is about welcoming your child into the church, several members of our church family here at St Paul’s will be present in order to represent the church and to welcome you, your child and your family.
There is no charge for a christening service but we will put a collection plate out at the back of church for any donations which people might like to give and which will go towards the upkeep of this historic building.
If you don’t feel that the promises of a christening (or baptism) service are the right thing for you, but would still like to formally offer thanks to God for the life of your baby or child in the presence of your friends and family (and perhaps with a big family party afterwards) we can offer you some special prayers of thanksgiving as part of one of our 10.30 services. Jesus took little children in his arms and blessed them, so we will set aside some time in the service to make a fuss of you and your child and to name him or her before God. In the prayers we will praise and thank God for the birth of your child, and ask him to surround your child with his blessing. We will give you a thanksgiving certificate and a book of Bible stories for your child.
Since prayers of thanksgiving happen within one of our normal 10.30 services we ask that you bring with you only close family and friends and that they come prepared to be part of our usual worship which includes hymns, prayers, readings from the Bible and a sermon. There are no godparents, but you might like to ask some of the friends who come with you to be `supporting friends’ who will stand with you as we pray for your child.
As time goes on you might want to have your child christened.
If you want to book a christening or to discuss further please contact the vicar Rev’d Canon Vivien Gisby on 01625 921858 or the church office on 01625 501773.
Here at St Paul’s we will be pleased to do what we can to make this special day one of the very best in your life!
Churches within the Church of England are there to serve not only the people who make up the congregation (whether they live in the parish or not), but also the people of their local area (whether they come to church or not). If you decide you would like to have your wedding at St Paul’s you will need to have some connection with the area or the church. So, you can marry at St Paul’s if you can show:
- That one of you: – has at any time lived in the parish for a period of at least 6 months; or – was baptised in the parish; or – was prepared for confirmation in the parish; or -has at any time regularly gone to normal church services in St Paul’s for a period of at least 6 months
- One of your parents, at any time after you were born: -has lived in the parish for a period of at least 6 months; or -has regularly gone to normal church services in the parish church for a period of at least 6 months
- One of your parents or grandparents was married in the parish
We will read your banns the month before your wedding at the main morning service here at St Paul’s and if one of you lives in a different parish then they will need to be read in the parish church there too.
If you have any queries about your church wedding do please get in touch by ringing the church office on 01625 501773 or the vicar on 01625 921858. Even if your enquiry is only tentative we will be very pleased to talk through the legalities of a wedding service and what we can offer here at St Paul’s.
You might also like to look at the Church of England’s wedding service at https://www.churchofengland.org/life-events/your-church-wedding
And finally – congratulations!
A funeral service gathers friends and family together to mark the end of a person’s earthly life in order to commend that person into God’s safe keeping. Through a series of prayers, hymns, readings, and a tribute, the funeral gives family and friends the opportunity to remember their loved one, give thanks for that person’s life and express their grief.
St Paul’s is available for funeral services and we will do all we can to support you through the sadness of losing a loved one. We will meet up with you to talk through the funeral service and we can advise on suitable hymns and readings so that the service is appropriate and fitting. Hymns are accompanied by our organ and the organist will also play as you enter and leave church. If you prefer to have pre-recorded music at these points in the service we are happy to play it (subject to approval by the vicar) but you will need to supply us with the music on a CD or pen stick.
All our funeral services are followed by a short service of committal in a local crematorium or cemetery. If you would prefer the entire funeral to take place at a crematorium chapel then that too can be arranged.
In the first instance please contact a local funeral director who will then liaise with us here at St Paul’s.
In the days following on from the funeral we will be pleased to visit you if you would like us to. We hold an annual `All Soul’s’ service in October that you might like to attend in order to remember your loved one.
Making a Will
The Church encourages people to make a Will for reasons of good personal financial management, pastoral care and the teaching of Christian stewardship. Often when someone has supported their local church through many years they are pleased to know that their gift can continue to make a difference for years to come. Our parish is grateful for the heritage passed down to us and we want to pass the church on in sound condition to future generations. A legacy can often help a project to get started or encourage the PCC to be bold in their plans. If you felt you would like to leave a gift in your will it is best if the legacy is not restrictive in purpose. For example it may be worded “To the vicar and church wardens of the Parish of St Paul’s for the general purposes of the parish” .