Baptisms, weddings & funerals
These three ceremonies mark some of the most significant stages of a person’s life and the Church is here to help you embrace, celebrate and mark them. In the Church of England, people are encouraged to go to their local church to hold these ceremonies (every area in England is covered by one).
Unlike most churches, the cathedral has no official ‘parish’ apart from the community living in its grounds. However, those who regularly attend worship at the cathedral or have a strong link with it, may apply to hold their service here. For more details, please contact the Cathedral Office.
Baptism, (or Christening) is the service that marks the entrance of someone into the Christian faith. After due preparation, the candidate, with their friends and family, come to church to express their allegiance to God, their desire to follow the Christian way of life, and their decision to believe in Jesus. (If the candidate is an infant, the parents and godparents express the faith for them).
At the service, there are bible readings and prayers, promises of commitment to Jesus, then the pouring of water over the candidate’s forehead as a symbol of the God’s forgiveness (washing) , new life (as a Christian), and adoption (into the family of the world-wide church).
Christians believe any marriage is a life-long commitment that should only be entered into with genuine love and after serious thought. To be married in church brings the added dimension of a specifically Christian understanding of the commitment; namely that the marriage will not only be a covenant between the bride and groom and recognised by the community; but a symbol and channel for God’s love in the world; that is why it is called Holy Matrimony.
To be married in church then is more than an issue for the couple; it involves God as well.
It is a sad but great privilege to be alongside people in their sorrow, especially at the loss of a loved one.
Christians believe Funerals are not simply celebrations of the deceased’s life, but are thanksgiving to God for his gift of new life in Jesus, and acts of faith, as the loved one is placed into God’s everlasting arms.
The first step in arranging a funeral is to contact a Funeral Director, who will help you through the process.