Christenings, Weddings and Funerals
We’re always really pleased to talk to families or individuals about christening (or baptism). They are an occasion of great joy and celebration: chistening is the formal way of welcoming someone into the Christian faith, and into membership of God’s family – both locally and worldwide.
There is an important two-way movement when someone is christened:
1. God is reaching out in love, longing to welcome a new member into his family;
2. The parents of children to be christened, and adults wishing to be baptised, are reaching up to him in faith.
The vicar or minister helps to bring together the reaching out and the reaching up, so that the new beginning in God’s family takes place.
For adults, baptism is on the basis of their own faith in God. For children, it is on the basis of the faith and promises of their parents. A central part of the service is their commitment to help their child grow up within the Christian faith. This is a huge and challenging responsibility, and the church encourages families to choose godparents who will be actively supportive in the child’s Christian upbringing. At St Giles’ we want to encourage and enable families to take these responsibilities seriously.
- Who can be christened at St Giles? Anyone, provided that they have not been christened before and live within the parish boundaries. Those who live outside the parish will need to establish a habit of regular worship with us in order to qualify. The marital status of the parents is never an issue that could prevent a child being christened.
- When does it take place?Christenings at St Giles’ usually take place during the 11.15 service on the 3rd Sunday in the month.
- What does it cost?Apart from a fee of £13 for issuing a Baptism Certificate, christenings are completely free! Families may wish to make a voluntary contribution to the large costs of running the church.
- How do I book a Christening? The best way to begin to explore the baptism of your child, or yourself, is simply by coming along to one of the Sunday services, and introducing yourself to the Vicar or one of the Church Wardens after the service.
For more general information about christenings, visit www.churchofenglandchristenings.org
Everyone is entitled to be married at St Giles’ who lives in the parish or is a regular worshipping member of the church. In recent years the Church of England has changed the rules in order to make it easier for you to be married in a Church of your choice. Now a couple can qualify to marry at St Giles’ if either of you can show just one of the following seven connections with the parish:
That one of you:
- was baptised at St Giles’
- was prepared for confirmation in the parish
- has at any time lived in the parish for a period of at least 6 months
- has at any time regularly attended worship at St Giles’ for a period of at least 6 months
Or, that one of your parents, at any time after you were born
- has lived in the parish for a period of at least 6 months
- has regularly attended worship at St Giles’ for a period of at least 6 months
Or, that one of your parents or grandparents:
- was married in the parish
Talk to the Vicar well in advance to discuss the options open to you.
Where someone has been previously married, permission to marry in church is at the discretion of parish clergy and the Bishop. If this is your position, do not be discouraged from contacting us.
Renewal of Vows
We also welcome enquiries from couples with an association with the church who would like to have a civil ceremony blessed or to renew their vows, perhaps after a significant anniversary.
All couples are invited to a short preparation course, which includes sessions on the ceremony and communication.
Booking a Date
Weddings can take place on any day of the week, including Sundays. While some couples like to book as far as 2 years ahead, we can usually fit a wedding in next month!
Getting married in another church but need your banns calling here? This must be done during the three months prior to your wedding day. Do contact our parish office, and we’ll sort it out for you. We would love to welcome you at St Giles’ at the services when your banns are being read.
A wedding in church is both a legal and a religious ceremony. Following recent legislative changes, clergy are required to verify the nationality of everyone who wishes to marry in church, or have their banns read. In order to book a wedding at St Giles’, the vicar will need to see and verify:
a. Proof of your identity and nationality: your passport is the best way to confirm this.
Note: if one or both of you is a non EEA national you will need to contact the local Registrar’s Office, and obtain a superintendent registrar’s certificate before we can marry you at St Giles’. This may take up to 70 days. The EEA includes all EU countries plus some others.
b. Proof of where you currently live.
c. Proof of any qualifying connections (if you don’t actually live in the parish).
Contact the vicar by phone or email, to make an appointment to meet and book your wedding. Bring any documents withyou to confirm a/b/c above.
For more general information about getting married in church, visit www.yourchurchwedding.org
We regard it as a great privilege to be asked to take funerals for anyone in our parish, and we never refuse the opportunity to take someone’s funeral at St Giles’. This means that we sometimes take services for relatives who live locally, where the person who died lived elsewhere. We see funerals as an opportunity to give thanks for the life of the person who has died, to commend them to God, and to recognise and pray for the needs of those who mourn. We are able to offer sensitive support to bereaved relatives after a funeral through our team of Bereavement Visitors.
We also invite everyone to consider having a funeral in church, which may be followed by burial or cremation. It does not matter whether there have been close associations with St Giles’ in the past or not.
Normally a funeral is arranged between the family, an undertaker and the Vicar. Services are taken by the Vicar or by members of our ministry team, and all are sensitive to those who may feel unsure about how “religious” they want the service to be. We also take many services at local Crematoria, either in Nuneaton or at Canley.
Here at St Giles’ we are very fortunate in being able to offer burials here at church; anyone resident in the parish can be interred in our new Meadow burial ground, just next to the church. Ashes are interred in the Garden of Rest, near the lychgate at the front of St Giles’ Churchyard, or in existing family graves.
For more general information about funerals at church, visit www.churchofenglandfunerals.org
Christians have always believed that every life, including our own, is precious to God. We believe that there is hope in death as in life, and that there is new life in Christ over death. But even those who share such faith find that there is a real sense of loss at the death of a loved one. Grief is part of the price we pay for love: you cannot love someone, and not feel pain and emptiness when they are no longer there. Our Bereavement Team are all people who have experienced grief themselves, and they offer a sensitive listening ear (but not instant solutions!) to all who would welcome a visit. Contact Margaret Gandon (02477 677461) if you would like to explore this.