Weddings and Baptisms

Getting Married at St James'

The Bible teaches that marriage is a gift of God, and is to be the basis of society. We regard it as a great privilege to be involved in people’s weddings, and want to do all we can to help and encourage couples as they begin married life.

To get married in church you need either a certificate of banns, or a special licence (usually when one or other of the couple lives abroad). These are to ensure that the couple getting married can do so legally. This involves a declaration being read out in church to the effect that they are intending to get married and asking if anyone has a legal objection.

The banns must be read out in the parish church(es) where either of the couple lives, and the church where they are due to be married. The banns will be read out on three consecutive Sundays some weeks before the wedding is due to take place. So long as nobody comes up with a valid objection, you are then free to be married!

For the banns you need to fill out an application form – from which also we will also draw up the wedding certificate and registers. You should receive the banns application form at the first meeting. The banns are usually read on the first three Sundays of the month prior to the Marriage (if taking place at St James').

The Marriage Service

The service we use is the standard Anglican Church in Wales service. If you have any doubts as to what this is, all will be explained! The service takes on average between 35-40 minutes, but when you include the bride’s arrival and the signing of the register, it is wise to allow about an hour (not including the photographs afterwards). Normally there are 2 hymns - although you can have more - and the organist and vicar will provide any help you might need in choosing them. It is usually sensible to stick to well-known hymns unless the congregation is likely to be familiar with church music. There will be a full rehearsal of the service sometime in the week before the wedding, but it is extremely simple, and the minister will talk you through it all on the day.

For all enquiries regarding weddings please contact the vicar on (01792) 470532 or email the vicar   

Baptisms

In Baptism, parents thank God for His gift of life, make a decision to start their child on the journey of faith and ask for the Church's support.  These take place during the 10:30am services.

Baptism involves the pouring of water on the child's head as a sign of washing and cleansing - a symbol of being washed free from sin and beginning a new life with God.  Some parents prefer to have a service of Thanksgiving and Dedication for their child, rather than Baptism.  This ceremony can also be part of the above 10.30am services.    

Later on, Confirmation marks the point in the Christian journey when you affirm the faith into which you were baptised, and the Bishop confirms you in that affirmation.  Confirmation services usually take place once a year, at St. James' Church or, occasionally, we join with a neighbouring church. 

To help you think about the meaning of baptism we usually arrange several meetings when we can meet and talk things through, although we do recommend that you attend a more in depth course at some point to help you think things through. Please contact Mark the Vicar who will arrange this and answer any questions you may have.