Weddings, Baptisms & Funerals

Weddings, Wedding Blessings, Renewal of Vows & Re-marriages at St Luke's

A warm welcome to this part of our web site.We would be delighted to explore with you the possibility of holding your wedding at St. Luke’s and we are very committed to helping you have a wonderful day, and also a happy and fulfilling married life together.

If you live in our parish you have a right by law to get married in St Luke’s, unless you have been previously married. If you do not live in the parish, then you can qualify to get married by the following criteria:

◾If one of you was baptised or confirmed here.
◾If one of you has ever lived in the parish for six months or more.
◾If one of you has at any time regularly attended public worship there for six months.
◾There is the right to marry in a parish in which one of your parents have lived for six months or more in the couple’s lifetime.
◾There is also the right to marry in a parish church where your parents have regularly attended worship in the couple’s lifetime.
◾Couples may also marry in a parish church where your parents or grandparents were married.

If none of these criteria applies to you, then you can qualify to marry in St. Luke’s by making it your habitual place of worship. In other words, you would be expected to attend church at least twice a month for a period of six months. Following that you can then apply to join the electoral roll, which would then make you eligible to marry at St. Luke’s.  To become a member of the church you do have to be baptised. If you are not baptised, we would be delighted to explore this with you.

Marriage Preparation Classes

Not only are we committed to ensuring that you have a very special and memorable wedding day, we are also keen to help you prepare for married life. To this end we run a wedding preparation course including a full rehearsal and study of the actual wedding service including the vows, promises, tradition and symbols. Our Marriage Preparation Classes not only allow you time to think and reflect but enable you to meet with other couples and get to know some of the key people involved in your wedding day.

Wedding Blessings at St. Luke’s following a Civil Ceremony

If you are getting married at a register office or abroad, or at another location such as a country club, golf course or manor house, for example, then why not come to St. Luke’s to have your marriage blessed by God? Wedding blessings do not require any residency qualifications. In other words, technically, people living anywhere in the world could have their wedding blessed in our church with all the accompanying memories and beautiful photographs.

Renewal of Marriage Vows and Significant Anniversaries

For many people, reaching a significant anniversary in the life of their marriage is a real achievement and warrants a special celebration. At St. Luke’s we are very committed to supporting and upholding the gift of married life. If you are approaching a significant anniversary, you might like to consider a Renewal Service where you would be invited to stand in front of the altar and repeat the promises that you once made at your wedding. This can be a wonderful and memorable occasion which not only brings everybody together, but strengthens and renews the bonds of love and marriage.

Marriage after Divorce

Where one person has been married before and the previous partner is still alive normally a Service of Prayer & Dedication after a Civil Marriage is offered, though in exceptional circumstances a full church wedding may be possible under the latest Church of England guidelines. Please contact the Vicar to discuss this further. 

For information about getting married at St Luke’s please contact the Vicar, Reverend Caroline Glass on 01892 521374 or email caroline.glass@stlukestw.co.uk

You may find the following links helpful:
 www.churchofengland.org
 www.yourchurchwedding.org

Baptism

Christenings- or baptisms as they are called today -  take place in our main 10am service when the whole church family is present. Christening is the beginning of a journey towards God and an important part of this service are the promises that parents and godparents make about their own faith and their wish to give their children a Christian upbringing.
However, you may feel that you are not ready to make any public declaration of faith . You may still like to bring your child to church for a special service of thanksgiving for the gift of a child and for God’s blessing on your child and family.In a Thanksgiving Service we thank God for the gift of life, praying that He will bless and watch over your child. 
Please contact the Vicar to arrange a baptism either via email through this site or on the telephone 01892 521374 , and please read the accompanying leaflet here called' New life in the Family' for any questions you might have.
Please click the link below to access the Church of England Christening website:
https://churchofenglandchristenings.org/

Funerals

It is inevitable that death touches all of us, and the Church has an important place in supporting people through this difficult time. A funeral marks the close of a human life on earth. As well as being a time to say goodbye to our loved ones and express our grief, it is also the opportunity for friends and family to celebrate and give thanks for the life that has ended and commend the person into God’s keeping.

Frequently asked Questions

Q1: Where can a funeral service be held?
A. Funeral services can take place in St Lukes church or in the chapels at the local authority’s crematoria and cemeteries.

Q2: What are the advantages of having a funeral in church?
A. A service at a local crematorium / cemetery chapel is normally restricted to a maximum time of 35 minutes. Many people feel this provides insufficient time, and also leads to the whole service feeling rushed. By coming into church prior to the committal service there is a greater opportunity to commemorate your loved one’s life more fully, as we can agree a length of time for the service which fits your requirements.
Another practical advantage is the larger size of a church compared to most crematorium / cemetery chapels. If you are expecting many mourners to the funeral, we are able to accommodate a much larger congregation.

Q3: Do you have to live in the parish to have a funeral in church?
A. People who live in the parish have a right to have their funeral at the parish church , even if they have not been a church-goer during their life.

Q4: What about ashes – can they be buried in the churchyard?
A. There is a Garden of Remembrance for cremated remains at St Lukes Parish Church. Permission needs be granted by the Vicar for the ashes of those who have died to be buried in the Garden. Normally, however, this is only granted where there has been a connection with the church. There is a charge for burial of ashes in the Garden of Remembrance. To enquire about this, please contact the Vicar.

Q5: How do I arrange a funeral?
A. You will firstly need to appoint a funeral director  who will then liaise with the clergy on your behalf to agree the date and time of the funeral. If you want a particular person from the clergy team to take the service, this should be done before any other funeral arrangements are made to make sure they are available.
The clergy see the taking of funerals and the comforting of those who mourn as important parts of their work. They give a lot of time to visiting families, comforting those who are facing loss, finding out what they want included in the funeral service and helping them to arrange it. To arrange the details of the service, the Vicar will make an appointment to meet up with you. If they did not know the dead person, then they will ask you to provide details.

Q6: What does it cost?
A. Most of the costs of the funeral will be incurred with the funeral director. There are separate fees for the church, but these are normally settled by the funeral director on your behalf and then passed on to you.
The church fees are set annually by the Central Church authorities and go towards the church upkeep and ministerial fees. The fees vary from year to year and there may be a small increase in fees each year. For details of fees please contact the Vicar.


Q7: Where can I find more information?
A. The main Church of England website gives some general information on funerals
You may find the following government information helpful: www.gov.uk