Marriage & Baptism

Baptisms at St Andrew's

Baptism (Christening) is how someone becomes a member of the Church. In the Church of England we baptize children and adults. The water of Baptism both washes away sin and gives the gift of eternal life, making the person being baptised part of the Body of Christ, the Church. At St Andrew's we use the ancient font in which both John and Charles Wesley were baptised.

If you live in Epworth or worship with us regularly, or would like to worship with us regularly, you are encouraged to bring your child for Baptism. We Baptize at the 10:30am service on Sundays and also at around 12.15pm. Baptism is not a private ceremony but a public service. This is why we like baptisms to take place in the main church service. You will need Godparents (at least one of each gender) who should themselves be baptised and, ideally, confirmed and churchgoers themselves.

The role of a godparent is to help your child grow into Christian faith and life, through their prayers, example, teaching, and encouragement (for example, by giving gifts that will help your child pray and understand more about Jesus).

In the baptism service, you promise to encourage your child to grow to faith in God; we can do this by pointing the way so that they can learn about God in Jesus. Baptism is not the destination but the beginning of a spiritual journey; that is why we use a shell, the ancient sign of the pilgrim, to pour the water.

If you are an adult seeking Baptism we would prepare for Confirmation at the same time. Confirmation is the adult ownership of the promises made at Baptism and, celebrated by a Bishop, connects you to the wider church and gives you a fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit. It is the normal route through which people are admitted to Holy Communion. Baptism and Confirmation of adults takes place at various times throughout the year, usually in a church not too far away.

There is no charge for Baptism or Confirmation - the gift of faith is free.

Here is a prayer you might like to say:

Great God, we thank you from our hearts for our child.
We thank you for this precious gift and for the love and wonder s/he has already brought into our world. Give us your love and strength to be the best parents we can be, and please bless our child, now and always, through Jesus Christ. Amen.

Weddings at St Andrew's

Deciding to be married in Church is choosing to begin your married life with an act of Christian Worship during which you make your commitment to each other and ask for God’s blessing on your relationship. As such you are not ‘hiring’ a building for the day; you will be following generations of Epworth people going back at least eight centuries.

Christian marriage is a joyful and demanding commitment. We would be thrilled for you to get married at St Andrew's. You can be married here if you live in the parish, if you are a regular worshipper with us (regular is defined as being over a six month period) or if you have a 'qualifying connection'. A qualifying connection is if any of you:

  • were baptised in the parish
  • were Confirmed in the parish
  • have ever lived in the parish for at least six months
  • parent or grandparent was married in the parish
  • parent(s) have ever lived in the parish for at least six months during  your lifetime
  • parent has habitually attended public worship in the parish for at least  six months during your lifetime

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you are not sure.

We try to take the care of wedding couples seriously; the parish priest will meet with you several times before the day to help prepare you for marriage and also to sort out the practicalities of the service, including the music, readings and flowers.

If one or both partners have been divorced, and the former spouse is still living, please consult the Rector. We follow the guidelines issued by the Church of England to help you reflect on the issues involved. This reflection will happen before a firm booking can be completed.