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The pages in this section of the web-site can give you advice and information about:

  • Baptisms
  • Weddings
  • Funerals and Churchyard

Baptisms

Children whose parents live in one of the parishes or whose parents names are on the Parish Electoral Roll have the right to be baptised in the parish church. If you live outside the parishes and have an appropriate reason for wanting the baptism at one of the churches you will need to contact us and also your local parish to ask for approval.

What is Baptism all about?
Baptism marks the beginning of a journey with God which continues for the rest of our lives, the first step in response to God’s love. For all involved, particularly the candidates but also parents and godparents, it is a joyful moment when we rejoice in what God has done for us in Christ, making serious promises and declaring our faith. The wider community of the local church and friends welcome the new Christian, promising support and prayer for the future.

A godparent must be a baptised Christian, and preferably confirmed. You should try to choose people who will be good role models for your child – ‘Who do I want my child to be like?’ The normal pattern is to have two godparents of the same sex as the child and one of the opposite sex, but it is far more important to have the right people than to stick to this. In the service itself, the parents and godparents are asked to affirm their Christian faith and they make promises to bring up the child as a Christian, ‘by teaching and example’. A card is usually given to the godparents reminding them that they should:

  • Pray regularly for the child
  • Set an example of Christian living
  • Help the child to grow in the Christian faith

How much does it cost?
There is no charge for a baptism – it is a symbol of God’s free and unconditional love for all people. There is usually a plate available at the church if anyone wishes to make a donation.

If you are interested in baptism/christening for your child or for yourself, please contact the Associate Priest on 01256 397256 who will be delighted to talk with you.

Weddings

If you are interested in getting married at one of our churches please contact the Priest in charge. (See contacts page) You will find some very helpful general guidance about getting married at this link:  www.cofe.anglican.org/lifeevents/weddings

We do delight in having weddings at any of our four churches. There are rules about who may be married in church, one of the couple must:

  • Live in the parish or
  • Be on the church electoral roll for the parish as a regular worshipper or
  • Have a ‘qualifying connection’ with the parish

A qualifying connection includes baptism or confirmation in the parish, residence of parents during your lifetime, or marriage of parents/grandparents in the parish. (full guidance on these connections is available from the Church of England website). If none of these applies then the marriage cannot legally be carried out in the church by the normal method of reading Banns. However, other options may be available including the marriage ceremony taking place in a Registry Office followed by a blessing in church so please ask the Associate Priest in this case. If either of the couple is not a citizen of the European Union there are special rules that apply. If this is the case please discuss this early with the the Associate Priest who will be able to advise regarding the procedure to follow and the permissions to be obtained.

How much does a wedding in church cost? Fees include the statutory marriage fees and the cost of an organist.The Associate Priest will be able to advise you regarding the applicable fees.

Funerals and Churchyard

It is always best to talk with your local Rector but here are a few questions and answers.

Can I have a funeral service at a Benefice Church if I have never been a member?

Yes. It helps to have had some substantial connection with the village. Speak to the Rector for more details.

Can my body or my ashes be buried in the village Churchyard?

Yes, if you

  • Were a resident within the parish (this will include persons who had been resident in the parish but moved away due to old age or infirmity), or
  • Were on the church electoral roll, or
  • Were a regular attendee at church services (i.e. at least once a month for more than 4 years)
  • Had a spouse already buried in the churchyard
  • Had other substantial connections with the parish or church, at the Rector’s discretion.

What can I have as a headstone or memorial?

For the purpose of good management of the churchyard and in the interests of families whose loved ones are also interred there, there are limitations as to what is permitted. These regulations are laid down by the diocese of Winchester:

Upright headstones should be no more than:

  • 4 feet high or less than 2 ft 6 inches.
  • 3 feet wide
  • 6 inches thick.

(For a child the headstone may be smaller.)

A headstone may be of

  • limestone,
  • slate (light grey, blue/black or green) or
  • granite (light grey, or charcoal provided it is a matt finish).

Memorial tablets for the interment of ashes should preferably be granite (grey, not polished) and the dimensions up to 18” x 18” x 2”.

For further information contact the priest in charge.

Can I choose the music/readings for the funeral service?

Yes. But it is best to discuss your ideas with the minister who will be taking the service. They may be able to help you with your decisions.

Should I bring my children?

These days many children attend funeral services. It is just as important for them to say goodbye as it is for adults. It is good to prepare them well for what will happen and what the atmosphere will be like.

Is it better to be buried or cremated?

The Church respects both. It is entirely up to you and your family. You may have environmental or space considerations. It is good to ask your family whether they would prefer to have the greater freedom to dispose of the ashes as they think best or to have a special place where they can come to visit regularly to remember and give thanks for you.

Are there any other regulations concerning what is permitted in the graveyard?

Please review the following document issued by the Diocese of Winchester [Churchyard_and_cemetery_-_Summary-of-Regulations]