Weddings, Baptisms and Funeral Services

The Church of England operates a parish based system.  In practice, this means that for all residents of Theydon Bois, St Mary’s is your parish church, and as such you are welcome to come to the church for a service at significant moments in life, such as weddings, funerals and baptism.

Weddings

St Mary’s extend a warm welcome to couples seeking to be married. Organising a wedding is a significant time, and it is a joy and privilege for the church to be able to share in such special occasions.

 

The Church of England operates a parish based system. In practice, this means that for all residents of Theydon Bois, St Mary’s is your parish church, and as such you are welcome to be married in the church. It is also possible to be married in St Mary's if a couple has a "qualifying connection", which are:

  • one of them was baptised or prepared for confirmation in the parish;
  • one of them has ever lived in the parish for six months or more;
  • one of them has at any time regularly attended public worship in the parish for six months or more;
  • one of their parents has lived in the parish for six months or more in their child’s lifetime;
  • one of their parents has regularly attended public worship there for six months or more in their child’s lifetime;
  • their parents or grandparents were married in the parish.

 

Marriage services can be arranged at St Mary’s for any day of the week.  There is only ever one wedding booked on a particular day, so it is possible, for example, to have floral decoration to your particular taste.

 

The first step in making arrangements for a wedding is to make contact with the Benefice Administrator, and one of the team will get back to you quickly.

 

The website www.yourchurchwedding.org provides more detailed information on weddings in the Church of England and full details of the legal aspects of marriage, and nationally set fees can be found there. 

Baptisms

Baptism of adults or children (often referred to as a Christening), is a marker of the beginning of a journey with God.  This journey is life long, and coming to Baptism is a step making a positive response to the love of God for all people, as revealed through the life and work of Jesus Christ.  It is not about having all the answers, but it is about wanting to bring Jesus into the centre of life, and to look to Him to receive as a gift the life which He offers and which John wrote about.  In the service, water is used to baptise.  The word “Baptism” comes from the Greek word meaning “to dip”, and the water is symbolic of the cleansing from sin Jesus made possible through his death on the cross.  In the service, serious promised are made, and there are other signs of the Christian way, including the presentation of a lit candle, a sign of the light of Christ which has conquered evil, and is the light which Christians follow on the life-long journey of faith. 

 

Baptism is available at St Mary’s in the main Sunday morning service which takes place at 10.30a.m, and it is also possible to arrange a special service on a Sunday at 12.30p.m.  The first step in making arrangements for Baptism, is to attend a preparation session.  These take place on the second Thursday of each month at 8p.m. in St Mary’s church.  You do not have to book beforehand, but it would be helpful if you are thinking of coming to make contact beforehand.  More information on Baptism in the Church of England can be found at http://churchofenglandchristenings.org 

Funerals

The clergy are always ready and happy to minister to anyone in the parish who asks for them. After a death, family or friends of the person who has died usually ask a local funeral director to make the arrangements on their behalf, but you are welcome to contact the Vicar directly if you wish.

 

Families in the parish are welcome to use St Mary's for the funeral service and the churchyard is open to the burial of ashes, and to burials into existing family graves. 

 

There are rules governing memorials and headstones which apply to all churches in the Diocese of Chelmsford.  They can be found here.

 

https://churchofenglandfunerals.org