In the early days of the Church, new Christians were often baptised at Easter. After a course of instruction in the faith, they publicly entered into a new life.
The gift of baptism symbolises so much about what it means to be a Christian, and how much God loves us, demonstrated through the life and death of Jesus Christ. Indeed, at Baptism people become full members of the Church of Christ. Following Jesus' resurrection in Matthew's Gospel, he gives his followers The Great Commission - to preach the good news of Jesus and to baptise in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Baptism was so important to Jesus that he himself was baptised by John the Baptist in the River Jordan, to signify the beginning of his ministry.
Baptism is not about getting the baby "done", neither is it some sort of superstitious nonsense about getting evil out of the child. Baptism is about new life, a life in Jesus Christ, a life of hope and life of love. The symbolism of the emerging from water, reminds us of Jesus' ability to forgive and heal, and Baptism is seen as the beginning of that journey which will ultimately lead us to eternal life.
Please don't use this just as an excuse for a party - what you are contemplating has eternal consequences.
If you would like to arrange a baptism please contact the vicar.
Today more than a quarter of all marriages in England take place before God in the traditional setting of a Church of England church.
There are many reasons why you should get married in a church but here are a few. A church wedding will add a spiritual dimension to your marriage. The ceremony includes God and looks to Him for help and guidance. God's blessing is the main attraction for many couples, whatever their beliefs. You can make amazing vows, or promises, in a church. God and your church are there for you to help you keep your vows.
Imagine all the couples who have married in St Mary's, some of whom may well be your family. You can feel you're becoming part of history itself, the bigger plan, by marrying in the same place as your relatives. These sorts of connections can make your day even more special.
The Church of England has some useful advice on planning your wedding.
If you would like to arrange a wedding please contact the vicar.
A funeral marks the close of a human life on earth. It is the opportunity for friends and family to express their grief, to give thanks for the life which has now completed its journey in this world and to commend the person into God's keeping. This is often a very upsetting and stressful time, feelings of grief, gratitude, joy and sadness often intermingle.
Funerals are usually arranged via an independent Funeral Director (local Funeral Directors include Chas A Nethercott & Son and The Co-Operative Funeralcare) however you are welcome to contact the vicar for help and advice.