If you are thinking about being married in the churches of Cotford St Luke, Heathfield, Hillfarrance and Oake then we will do our best to make your wedding day memorable for you, your family and your friends. This will be a very exciting time for both of you with many things to think about and plan. However, it is sensible to start with location and date, so your first question is likely to be:
- Can we get married in one of the churches within Deane Vale Benefice?
The Rector has a legal duty to be satisfied that you can lawfully marry in the benefice before any arrangements can be fixed. To make this process as quick and simple as possible, it is best to telephone Rev Alison Norris (01823 431567). There are two questions about you as a couple that will need to be clarified:
- Whether either of you is qualified to be married at one of the churches in Deane Vale Benefice. Qualification comes by virtue either of being a resident in the parish of either Heathfield with Cotford St Luke, Hillfarrance or Oake; or of being on the electoral roll of one of benefice churches; or of having close family links with one of the parishes.
- Whether either of you has been married before and your former husband or wife is still alive. In this case an interview with the Rector will be necessary before further arrangements can be made.
Once these issues have been thought through and clarified, make an appointment with the Rector or a Church Warden, at which the arrangements for the wedding service can be discussed and any questions that you have can be raised.
Baptism of a Child (often known as Christening)
The birth of a child is an exciting time in the life of any family. Children are a tremendous gift from God and so parents often want to find a way of giving thanks. Parents also have great hopes for their child, which often involves seeing their child grow up in the Christian faith. We are able to offer two services that you may like to choose for your child.
Thanksgiving for the gift of a child
A thanksgiving is a service in which we thank God for the child and pray God’s blessing on them. Parents may choose this service:
- When they want to leave baptism until the child can choose it for himself/herself, but would still like to give thanks for their child.
- When they don’t feel comfortable making the promises and declarations in the baptism service, but recognise that something has happened for which they wish to give thanks to God.
During the Thanksgiving service parents and families give thanks for the birth or adoption of a child, and the child is blessed. Families are encouraged to choose special people to be friends and mentors to their child – they make promises to support both the parents and the child.
Thanksgiving can take place in any of the churches at a time to suit you, or it can happen in a main service of worship.
As a previously unbaptised adult you may wish to declare your Christian faith and your desire to enter into the community and life of the church by undergoing baptised. In the baptism service you will make declarations and promises about your own faith, which you would have previously explored by participating in a short course of preparation.
This service can, if you wish, be accompanied by a service of confirmation (see below).
Confirmation marks the point in the Christian journey at which you affirm for yourself the faith into which they have been baptised and your intention to live a life of committed discipleship. A short course of preparation is usually required prior to confirmation. Your affirmation is confirmed through prayer and the laying on of hands by the bishop at a special service which usually takes place annually in a church local to you.
For further details please contact the Rector or a Church Warden.