Weddings & Christenings

Weddings & Christenings

Vestry Hour

Vestry Hour takes place on Wednesday evenings between 6:30pm and 7:30pm, when the Rector will be available in the Church for discussions relating to Weddings, Baptisms (sometimes called 'Christenings') and Confirmations.

No appointment is necessary so you can just “drop in” and talk to the Rector regarding arrangements for Baptisms or Weddings. These are the main issues which are usually dealt with in Vestry Hour. You may also wish to discuss the options for Confirmation or the Blessing of a wedding or perhaps the reading of Banns. When the Rector is not available a Church Warden will be present in the Church during Vestry Hour.

(If you are wanting to make arrangements for a funeral, then please discuss this first with the Funeral Director, who will then make conatct with the Rector on your behalf.)

Weddings

Can I Marry at All Saints Church, Walsoken?

To have the right to marry in All Saints Church, either the bride or the groom will have to live within the area of the Parish Boundary (or have done so in the past for at least six months), have immediate family living within the parish or else have some other significant connection with our Church. The Rector can explain what 'a significant connection' means and whether you meet the requirements. If you are not sure whether or not you have right to marry in our Church, then please come along to see the Rector during Vestry Hour.

Marriage in Church after Divorce

It is the policy of All Saints not to re-marry in Church those who have been divorced. However, if you wish to have a service of blessing following a civil marriage, then please come to Vestry Hour to discuss this further with the Rector.

What are Wedding BANNS?

Most marriages in Church are conducted via what is called "Banns" - it is this that makes the marriage legal and the Banns must be read before you can marry; it is a legal requirement. However, you won’t need to arrange banns until about four months before the wedding date. The Rector will talk to you about this will help you make all the necessary arrangements. To book the date of your wedding you will need to fill in a Wedding Banns form.

How much will a Church Wedding Cost?

Please click here to view the Table of Parochial Fees. This table lists the basic stautory fees, and does not included certain options and extras, such as heating; music/organist; verger or bells. The Rector will discuss these options with you. 

Is there Anything Else?

It is now a legal requirement for the Rector to confirm the nationality of those getting married - so you will need to show your up-to-date passport. If you don't have a passport there are other documents, such as birth certificates etc. that can be used, but you will need to discuss this with the Rector.

Weddings - Further Information

More information is available on the Church of England website: Your Church Wedding

The Christian Understanding of Marriage

The Bible teaches that marriage is a union between one man and one woman, and when marry they commit themselves to spending their lives together in a new relationship. 

It is a partnership of love, made richer and deeper through sexual union. Like many people, Christians regard it as the best context for nurturing children, and as the best (many Christians would say the only) setting for sex.

In any marriage ceremony the bride and groom must confirm that they want to marry each other, and after the opportunity has been given publicly for anyone present to object to the marriage, if there is a legitimate, legal reason, the couple join hands and make their vows to each other. They exchange rings, which are worn as a reminder of the vows they have made, the duration of their married life. 

If the marriage begins with a wedding service in Church, the minister conducting the service, will remind all present that marriage forms part of a pattern of life established by God. The first marriage that the Bible tells of, is between Adam and his wife, Eve. God declared, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.’ 

In a church service there are readings from the Bible which explain the nature and significance of marriage.  The couple make promises to stay together ‘for better, for worse; for richer, for poorer; in sickness and in health; to love and to cherish until death us do part’.  It is a commitment for life, and not just for the times which are easy. Prayers are said for the couple, which recognise both the joys and difficulties ahead, and ask God’s blessing on them in their new life together.

While marriage is honoured and affirmed among Christians, there is no suggestion that it is necessary for everyone.  Singleness, with its freedom and flexibility, is described as ‘a gift’ in the Bible. And Jesus, the Son of God Himself, was unmarried.

Some Christians believe that marriage vows are unbreakable, so that even in the distressing circumstances in which a couple separates, they are still married from God’s point of view. This is so in the Roman Catholic church, although occasionally a marriage is declared to be null (in other words, it never really was a marriage).  Other Christians have accepted divorce and remarriage in some circumstances - for example, to relieve one partner of intolerable hardship, unfaithfulness or desertion. 

There is rarely divorce without pain. Even when divorce comes as a relief, it follows the pain of broken relationships and dreams, and great anxiety about the impact on children. Christians seek to uphold the seriousness of wedding vows while responding with compassion to deep hurts by recognising that divorce may sometimes be necessary. God grieves alongside the people for whom such a painful separation is taking place.

Christenings

What happens during the Christening service?

Your child's baptism will normally take place during the main Sunday service (usually in the morning). This is so that your child can be seen to be joining the family of the Church and be welcomed into membership. In turn the Church will promise to support and pray for you and your child.

The priest will make sure you know where to sit and when you need to move. Some parts of the service will be for the whole congregation to join in, some will be for you and the godparents.

Part of the baptism service will normally take place at the front of the church, but for the baptism itself, parents and godparents are usually be asked by the priest to gather around the font. (The font is a large basin on a pedestal, containing the water for baptism.)

The priest will ask the parents and godparents to make declarations on behalf of the child (see Making decisions and promises).

Making decisions and promises

When you bring your child for baptism, you will be asked to declare publicly on behalf of your child that you believe in God and that you will bring your child up to follow Jesus.

You will be asked to answer, on your child's behalf, that you have decided to turn away from everything which is evil or sinful and instead to turn towards Christ.

The declarations made by you and the child's godparents will be made in front of the church congregation; the local Christian community will promise to support you and pray for you and your child.

Baptisms/Christenings - more Information

For more information, visit the Church of England website: Your Child's Christening