Weddings, Baptisms & Funerals

Church Weddings

The Church of England have a brilliant central resource to point couples towards for all they need to plan a church wedding, from the legal aspects of marriage to a ceremony planner, and including frequently asked questions, visit www.yourchurchwedding.org.

When someone chooses to get married in your church it is a great opportunity to help them celebrate but also to make connections that could last beyond the service.

What can our church do to help?

A person’s wedding day is often one of the most memorable days in their life and over half of couples still choose to get married in a church so why not:

  • Put together an attractive wedding pack for couples coming to you or make use of the ones provided centrally by the Church of England’s weddings project
  • Encourage couples going to the NEC national Weddings Fair to visit the C of E stand there
  • Make sure every couple has found the www.yourchurchwedding.org website
  • Hold a meeting in your parish to see what other ideas you can come up with to make wedding couples and their families feel special.

Baptisms & Christening

The christening of a child or an adult choosing to be baptised are significant moments and are a great opportunity for your church to celebrate and support people who are new to faith (or making a recommitment of some sort).

What can our church do to help?

If you're passionate about baptism and all the opportunities it brings for engaging with families why not:

  • Get your PCC to think through how you could improve what you offer to baptism families, for example a card on the first five anniversaries of each child’s baptism. The Mothers' Union have some particularly good cards to help you do this
  • Invite families every term to special events e.g. the annual crib service, a summer picnic, a Christian puppet show and so on
  • If you don’t already have a baptism visiting team or a baptism pack, think about creating one and look out for training opportunities on this.

Funerals

A Church of England Funeral is a privilege to take; and for many still in a secular society, the opportunity for loved ones to express their gratitude for a life now ended but of infinite worth to God. The Bishops Advisors meet with funeral directors, clergy helping families at a difficult time, and cemetery / crematoria staff in local authorities to try to improve communication and work collaboratively together to provide a sensitive and responsive ministry.

Ultimately what we offer is not simply beautiful language, nor our heritage of timeless buildings, but the Easter hope of life made new in Jesus at a time when human beings face bereavement and loss.

What can our church do to help?

Thousands of families are still choosing to go to their local church for their loved one’s funeral so how can we help them at such an important time? Research carried out by the Church of England shows that what most families value most is the personal touch that a Vicar or Pastoral Care Team in a church can offer. They want the service to reflect the wishes of the deceased and churches that are able to be flexible and pastoral are a huge comfort to the bereaved.

  • Think about what you can do in your church to help bereaved families before, during and after the funeral service
  • What about providing a pack of materials with guidance on grieving, some prayers they can say and so on?
  • What about holding a regular coffee morning for the bereaved?
  • Could you put those who are bereaved in touch with an organisation like Cruse - www.cruse.org.uk?

Key Support Sites

There are two sites to help you and your church make the most of this occasion.

https://churchofenglandfunerals.org - this is a site you can share with anyone who needs to know about funerals

https://churchsupporthub.org/funerals/ - this is a resource site specifically for clergy

 


The Church Support Hub

These web pages are a key resource for you and your church make the most of this occasion. Click here to visit the Church Support Hub.