If you would like to arrange a wedding, service, funeral or baptism please contact

Rev Sharon Goble on 01608 682 282

or email  admin@stourdene.org

 

WEDDINGS

Many congratulations on your engagement and we are delighted that you are exploring a marriage in Church. Ever since Biblical times, Christians have always seen marriage as not just a legal contract, which is always available from the State, or an opportunity for an extended party but as a sacred event, blessed by God.  Jesus, who lived at a time when marriage was often not taken very seriously, said, 
 
“Let no man divide what God has put together”.  
 
So when you marry in Church, you are doing something very special in a tradition dating back 2,000 years.  Supporting you on that happy day are not only your families but also the entire Christian church, following an order of service that contains some of the greatest and most famous words ever written in the English language.
 
    We actively try to accommodate all wedding enquiries that come to us.  The first step is to establish your connection with the parish so that you can be married here – please check the website yourchurchwedding.com for details.  (Normally, if you or one of your parents have regularly worshipped with us for at least six months, you passed!)  When you have your preferred dates, let us know and we will talk through your plans.  
 
The costs of marrying in Church and the reading of the Banns (see below) are the same for every parish in the country and typically modest relative to the cost of your wedding.  (You may incur some additional costs are required if you choose to have an organist or bellringers.)  You can see details of the fees here.
 
Banns
One of the most familiar and joyful traditions in the lead up to marriage (not to mention the source of quite a few jokes) is the reading of the Banns.  On three consecutive weeks within the three months leading up to the date of your wedding, we publicly ask the congregation if there are any objections (and if you are marrying in another Church of England church but live in one of the parishes of Stourdene benefice, please let us know – we will still be checking up on you here!)  
 
The famous words of the Banns are “I publish the banns of marriage between… and …  If anyone knows and reason why these two person may not be joined together in marriage, you are to declare it”.  
 
We will then sign a certificate for you to present to the parish priest who is conducting your wedding. 
 

BAPTISMS

In our Christian faith, nothing is more important than a child, as we are reminded in one of the most moving moments in the Bible:
The people brought little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them and pray for them. The disciples rebuked them but Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”
Sometimes also known as a Christening, Baptism is the when a child (or sometimes older people who were never baptised for whatever reason – Jesus himself was baptised as an adult) is welcomed into the Church - a joyous occasion where the family, the godparents and the wider congregation meet to celebrate the new arrival.  At that moment, the child makes a new set of friends – the immediate Church family in the parish and approximately 2.4 billion Christians around the world ready to support and welcome her or him wherever the Church exists.  
We encourage families to bring their children for baptism in the closest church to home, where they will be easily able to continue to worship.  Typically, baptism takes place within the format of a Sunday service as our villages welcome the new arrival with you.  Since we have many different forms of service, we will talk you through which type of service (formal or more informal) would be your preference and set a date.  
If you would like to find out more and make plans for the baptism of you and/or your child, contact us and we can talk through what baptism means and what to do next.
Please also see our links for confirmation.

CONFIRMATIONS

In the Baptism service, the parents and godparent pledge to protect and support the child in faith until he or she is old enough to speak for themselves.  But from the age of about 13 upwards, the Confirmation service asks the young woman or man to make their own choice, own  Christianity for themselves and acknowledge their calling to live a life of faith.  The Church regards Confirmation as so important that this service is always conducted by a Bishop (in our case from the Diocese of Coventry) and with other Confirmands.
 
Confirmation offers opportunity to think through what it actually means to be a disciple of Jesus and you are invited to prepare for a special service when the Bishop lays hands on you and prays for you to be filled with the Holy Spirit, empowering you in your discipleship.
 
There are several ways to prepare for Confirmation and if you have been considering confirmation or would like to begin to, please contact us.  One of the ways you might prepare is by attending our Christianity Explored course, which aims to teach the basics of the Christian faith to all ages.  Many attendees have described this as a life changing experience, putting our journey in this world and its many difficulties into perspective based upon faith in Jesus and the thousands of years of wisdom in the Bible.
 
 

FUNERALS

Our beautiful churchyards bear in the benefice bear witness to all those who have died in faith, every tombstone or plaque telling a story of lives well lived before God.  There is no escaping the sadness of loss yet we believe that death is not the end but the start of something new and joyful.  Jesus reminds us in words that are so important that we say them at every Communion service to remind us of this hope:
 
God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.
 
Normally, upon the death of a parishioner, we are contacted  by your funeral director who are working with you and your family to make arrangements for funerals, thanksgivings and other celebrations of the life of the deceased.  But if you would like immediate support in your bereavement, or would like to talk through your funeral wishes, then please do not hesitate to contact the clergy team.
 
Use this link for the Church of England for helpful advice and resources to help you plan a funeral or similar
 
Use this link for the Church of England for helpful advice and resources to help you plan a funeral or similar.
Churchyard Regulations for Memorial Stones
Churchyards are shared public spaces and for this reason there are regulations which limits the choice of stone, colour, size and lettering of memorial stones. In many listed  historic churches do not allow the use of granite headstones, Hornton, Limestone and Portland stone being recommended.
Stonemasons will be able to recommend suitable styles. 
Families apply for memorial stones through the stonemasons to our administrator and the Rector signs agreement for all those applications which are within the guidelines.  If the request is outside of those regulations then there are still possible avenues to apply for your preferences which are then looked at by the Diocesan Registrar. The detailed Diocese of Coventry churchyard regulations are here.