Baptisms and Weddings

Christenings at Whiston

In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. And when he came up out of the water, immediately he saw the heavens opened and the Spirit descending upon him like a dove; and a voice came from heaven, "Thou art my beloved Son; with thee I am well pleased."

Gospel of Mark ch.1 v9-11


In baptism, we thank God for his gift of life and publicly acknowledge his love. In the Anglican Church it is common to baptize young children - this is sometimes known as christening - but you can be baptized at any age, young or old. What is very special is that you can only be baptized once in your life.

Baptism is a 'sacrament' (a holy ritual to symbolize grace) in the Christian tradition, that is traced back to Jesus himself being baptized in the river Jordan by John the Baptist. In the passage above it describes Jesus' baptism; thus when a child or an adult is baptized in the Parish Church of Whiston we are recreating that moment. For us the font becomes the River Jordan symbolically. The dove in the passage represents God's Holy Spirit and, in the moments of baptism we are praying that; just like the Spirit descended upon Jesus; that it will also come into the life of the one who is being baptized.

Every child who is to be baptized has to have Godparents who are over 16 years of age and who themselves have already been baptized. That is because the Godparent makes certain promises during the service on behalf of the child. Every child to be baptized has to have no fewer than three Godparents, of whom two must be of the same sex as the child and of whom one must be of the opposite sex.

If an adult is to be baptized then they need to have at least two adult sponsors to support them.

Some frequently asked questions about Godparents:

Q. What does being a Godparent involve?

A. As a Godparent, you have a special role. It's about helping a child to come to know God, encouraging them in their spiritual life and supporting them in their membership of the local church. You will be expected to attend the child's baptism, where you will make promises to help to bring them up in the Christian faith. It's a role that will develop over time; as your godchild grows up and develops their own faith.

Q. Is there a website that can tell me more about being a Godparent?

A. Yes, the Church of England has a very good website which contains further information about being a Godparent. It can be found by clicking here; or by going to the 'Links' section of this site.

Getting Married at Whiston

"Marriage is a gift of God in creation through which husband and wife may know the grace of the Lord. It is given that as man and woman grow together in love and trust, they shall be united with one another in heart, body and mind; as Christ is united with his bride; the Church."

The above passage is taken directly from the wedding service itself and it emphasises the important nature of the commitment that a man and a woman make to each other when they exchange their wedding vows in Church.

The celebration of marriage is a wonderful and very special thing to do. In preparing to be married couples often have many questions to ask about all the arrangements.

Marriage - Frequently Asked Questions:

Q. Do I have to live in the Parish of Whiston to be married at its Church?

A. No. If either of you does live in the Parish, then you have an automatic right to be married in the Parish Church; but a few years ago the Church of England also allowed couples to be married in a Church if they can satisfy what are known as 'qualifying connections'. If a couple don't have a qualifying connection then they can still get married at the Church if they go on its electoral role, which means that they need to come to church regularly for six months before their wedding.

Q. How much does it cost?

A. Couples often find that the cost of getting married in Church is far less than they initially thought it would be. First, there are national fees for a wedding service and then some additional costs for getting married at Whiston to cover heating, lighting etc; Finally there is a fee for the organist. At Whiston we also have bell ringers and a choir which add to the overall cost if they are requested.

Q. One of us has been married before; does that stop us getting married in Church?

A. It all depends on what grounds there were for separation and divorce. This is something you will need to speak to the current incumbent about before booking anything.

Q. Is there a website where I can find out more about getting married in Church?

A. Yes, the Church of England has a very good website, with a special section that is all about marriage. The link can be found by clicking here; or via the 'Links' section of this site.

Q. How do I find out more about getting married at Whiston?

A. We have a wedding enquiry evening that is held on the 4th Tuesday of every month, from 5.30pm - 7.30pm. Attendance is by appointment only, with four slots available at 5.30, 6.00; 6.30 and 7.00pm. To book an appointment, or to make a general enquiry about weddings at Whiston Parish Church, please contact the Rectory on Tel: 01709 364430 for further information.

 

"Marriage is a way of life made holy by God, and blessed by the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ with those celebrating a wedding at Cana in Galilee. Marriage is a sign of unity and loyalty which all should uphold and honour. It enriches society and strengthens community. No one should enter into it lightly or selfishly, but reverently and responsibly in the sight of almighty God."