Category: Life Events

wedMarriages

One of the joys of our ministry as a church is being part of so many of life's important moments for so many people. We'd love to discuss being a part of your special day (read on to find out what's possible and what's not).

As a church who values marriage, we offer marriage preparation, aimed at helping make your relationship even better. Feedback from those who come is always really positive, so we hope you'll make that a priority in the midst of all your preparations.

Frequently Asked Questions 

How can we get married in St. Mary's? 

You can get married in St. Mary's if:

  • you live within the parish. Any address with an MK3 postcode is within our parish.
  • you are on the Electoral Roll (our membership list). If you are not resident in the parish, you can become eligible to join our membership list only after worshipping with us regularly for six months.
  • You have a qualifying connection with this church (more information about qualifying connections can be found here)


What form does the service take? 

Marriages in St. Mary's are conducted according to the rites of the Church of England only. This means that the form of vows, the declarations and the structure of the service cannot be changed other than to other licensed alternatives (for example, you can’t write your own vows). A Bible reading would always be included, and an address about the Christian understanding of marriage would be given. 

wedding vows cropWhen can we get married? 

Marriages normally take place on Saturdays, usually between the hours of 1pm and 5pm, though other days and times are possible. There may be more than one wedding on any given Saturday, particularly in the Summer months, but these are always scheduled by us to be at least an hour and a half apart. We do not take marriage services on Sundays as we have five regular Sunday services making the day extremely busy. 

What else do we need to do before the day? 

The first thing to do is to contact our Wedding Co-Ordinator, who is available on Wednesdays and Fridays, at the Church Office (01908 366531) to arrange to fill out the forms and look at available dates and times. We are happy to take bookings well in advance on the payment of a small deposit. 

We also offer a Marriage Preparation course three times a year for couples intending to get married or wanting to work at their existing relationship. We strongly recommend this. Couples are often reluctant to come to the course, and then express the desire that the course had been longer! Finding just a single afternoon to invest in your relationship is critically important – you’ll probably spend more time on the flowers than that!


What happens if one of us has been married before? 

In exceptional circumstances, we do conduct the further marriages of those who have been divorced. It tends to be restricted to those who can show, through regular church attendance over a long period, that it is an absolute priority to them to have a Christian marriage service in the sight of God. Please contact us and one of our clergy team will be happy to come and chat through this issue with you. 
Even if it does not prove possible for a further marriage, we are always happy to offer the alternative of a service of blessing and dedication after a civil marriage service. This service is easy to arrange and is a wonderful alternative to a full church wedding.  

Why do we charge for weddings? 

Statutory legal fees are set nationally by the Church of England and approved by Parliament. These cover the costs of providing authorised ministers and cover the costs of maintaining church buildings, routine administration, including arranging dates and times and the making of entries in registers, making the church available and lighting it. Additional fees apply for optional extras such as providing an organist and the services of a verger. The community expects its parish church to be maintained in good condition for when it wants to use it, but the upkeep and repair of a Grade 1 listed medieval building is very expensive and no central funds are available to meet these costs. All the money required to run and maintain St Mary's church building for current and future generations has to be raised locally.

For other details relating to marriages, including the costs involved, please contact the Wedding Co-ordinator, available on Wednesdays and Fridays, at the Church Office on 01908 366531 or email  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Wedding Blessings 

Increasingly people are recognising that lasting love is something to celebrate, and we are taking a growing number of special services to help people celebrate particular anniversaries. If you’d like to do that, or to renew your vows for any reason, please contact the Church Office (01908 366531). This service is easy to arrange and involves no legal preliminaries.

 
Category: Life Events

Baptism 

water





Many people feel a natural sense of wonder and joy at recieving the gift of a child, and wish to mark it in a special way. We are delighted that you are considering coming to church as a family and celebrating with us at St Mary’s for a baptism or a service of thanksgiving (naming  and blessing)



 

How do we go about it?

If this is something you would like to explore, please contact our church office (MK 366531) in the first instance, who will take your details, and pass on your enquiry to our baptism outreach team, overseen by Rev. Catherine Butt. You can find the form to request a Baptism here.

 

She or one of the team will contact you within a couple of weeks to arrange to visit you at home at a time convenient to you. This gives us a chance to explain the different options available to you, and you have the opportunity to ask any questions you may have. You can also take a look at our booklet: Bringing Your Child to Church.


Once a decision has been made as to whether we’re preparing with you for a baptism, a service of dedication or a service of thanksgiving, we will agree with you a date and a way to prepare for that service to ensure that it is as meaningful as possible.

 

When would we come to church?

Please note that it is our practice to baptise children in a main morning service (9.15 & 11am). Usually this would be in the context of ‘All Age’ worship on the 3rd Sunday of the month. This is because a child is baptised into the church, and much of the service assumes that the congregation is present. There may be another family also having their child baptised in the same service, and you should come expecting to participate in a service lasting up to an hour.
It is not our practice to offer private services of baptism.



 

Services of ‘Thanksgiving’ or ‘Naming and Blessing’, as they are sometimes called, can happen at other times and are less formal and shorter, lasting about 20 minutes or so.

 

Does it matter where we live?



As with marriages, you need to be living in our parish (the MK3 postcode) or to worship regularly at St. Mary’s in order to have a child baptised. If you live outside the MK3 area and do not regularly attend our services but have strong connections with St Mary’s we are happy to consider baptism with the consent of your own parish priest.

 

You are welcome to visit St Mary’s any Sunday, to come and take a look before you decide – why not come along, perhaps on a 3rd Sunday, when you could see for yourself?

 

Please do contact us with any further questions or to make a request for a visit.


Adult Baptism

We are also delighted to baptise adults who have come to faith and have not previously been baptised. A great way to prepare for this would be through attending our Alpha Course

 
Category: Life Events

Funerals 
 

Arranging a Funeral 
Working with the local Funeral Directors, we’re pleased to be asked to take funeral services at both Crownhill Crematorium and St. Mary’s. 

The first point of contact would usually be with one of the local firms. 

There are a number of options: 
• full service at the Crematorium 
• service at St. Mary’s, followed by a short service of Committal at the Crematorium 
• service at St. Mary’s, followed by a graveside interment 

Can I be buried in the churchyard? 

St. Mary’s churchyard has been closed to the interment of bodies for some years. In certain circumstances – usually because of a significant and long-standing link with the church – we may consider interring cremated remains. Please note that the Whalley Drive Municipal Cemetery and St. Mary’s churchyard are not the same burial ground, although they are next to each other. If you’ve got questions about the Whalley Drive Cemetery, you need to contact Crownhill Crematorium. 

Memorial Service 

At the beginning of November every year, we hold a Memorial Service to recognise the continuing grief that we all feel when we’ve lost loved ones. It gives families and friends another opportunity to remember their loved one through a candle being lit and their name being spoken in the context of a service. We invite to that service relatives living locally from all the services that we’ve taken as a church. We invite folk six to eighteen months after the funeral service took place (not those who have very recently lost a loved one).