Family Occasions

We are always happy to share your family occasions, be they happy ones such as baptisms (christenings) and weddings, or more sombre ones like funerals.

Baptisms This is a happy occasion when we thank God for the birth of your child, and welcome him/her into the Christian family with the water of baptism. It is normal for this event to be at your own local church, but if you have a good reason for wanting it to take place at a different church, you should first seek your own Vicar's goodwill, and then contact us to book a date. Ideally, baptism should take place in the main (morning) service, but this is not always possible so you should be ready to explore the options when you contact us.There is no age limit for baptism, and no fee, although donations are always welcome.

Some parents prefer a Service of Thanksgiving, where the birth of a child is celebrated but no baptism (with its promises) is carried out. Let us know if you would prefer this.

Weddings are another happy occasion, and we look forward to working with you as you plan your future life together. In recent years, the rules surrounding marriage and where it can take place have been relaxed, and you are welcome to contact us to see if you qualify to marry in one of our churches.You can choose your wedding music, hymns, Bible reading etc, and we will have a rehearsal shortly before the wedding day so that you can practise your vows. If one, or both, of you, has been previously married and is divorced, this is not usually a problem; this will be discussed with you when you initiate the booking. Note that you do not need to have been christened in order to marry in church. If you already have children, we will be delighted to involve them in the service as much as you wish, and they can even be christened in the same service if that is your wish. Please note that the Church of England does not permit marriage ceremonies between same-sex couples.

Some couples choose to renew their marriage vows and ask for a blessing, perhaps on a significant anniversary or after a difficult period. This can be low-key, or as elaborate as you wish. Please contact the Vicar to discuss this.

Funerals are inevitably sad occasions, but they can also be a time for giving thanks for the person's life and for all that she/he meant to you and others. Your local clergy/ministers can take the whole service at the crematorium, or a church service followed by cremation, or burial in the churchyard or the Natural Burial Ground in Althorne. The minister will be glad to visit you at home to get to know you and to learn more about what you would like included in the service. Your first point of contact in arranging a funeral should always be the Funeral Director of your choice - they will carry out all the necessary calls to arrange date, time etc.