Since we are run as what is termed a benefice, in other words we have a vicar/rector that is responsible for 3 churches not just one, you are able to choose any of our churches for your ceremony. Here are a number of Frequently Asked Questions about baptisms (christenings), weddings and funerals at our churches. If you wish to ask any other questions not listed here please get in touch.
Q: How much does the service cost?
A: The service is free. It is the welcoming of your child (or yourself as an adult) into the family of God at the start of their Christian journey. However, donations towards our churches are always welcome.
Q: I live outside of your parishes. Can my child still be baptised here?
A: Although it is usual to have your child baptised in your local church there are often very good reasons why you may want the service at another church. It may be that you worship regularly with us, or that you were married here, or that you have only just moved away. Whatever the reason do contact us.
If you do arrange a baptism outside of your own Parish you will need to get a letter of consent from your local vicar as a matter of courtesy.
Q: One of us is Roman Catholic. Can our child still be baptised in your church?
A: Yes, that is not a problem.
Q: Do we, as parents, have to be baptised?
A: No, parents do not have to be baptised to have their child or children baptised but see below regarding Godparents.
Q: How many Godparents can we have?
A: This is entirely up to you although we do like you to have more than one.
Ideally parents should choose Godparents who are baptised, but where this is difficult they should be careful to choose:
people who believe and trust in God and therefore set a good example through living by broadly Christian standards of love, respect and forgiveness
who live nearby so that a meaningful relationship is possible through regular contact with the family
assist the parents wherever possible in the practicalities of caring for the child.
Q: How soon do we need to book our baptism service?
A: You need to book as soon as possible.
The services take place on the first Sunday of the month in Curdridge and Durley at 11.45am, and on the third Sunday at Botley at 11.45am, but we also do baptisms during the morning services if you so wish. You will be invited to a Baptism tea on a Sunday afternoon a number of weeks before the service to meet the clergy and other church members as well as other Baptism families which gives an opportunity to ask any further questions you may have.
Q: What is the difference between a Christening and a Baptism?
A: Nothing in terms of the service. They are similar to the two words Marriage and Wedding.
Q: How soon do we need to book our wedding?
A: We would advise that you book at least 6 months in advance, but not more than 2 years ahead. We would also advise that you book your wedding reception before you approach us because although we do have a lot of weddings, caterers, hotels etc. are usually more busy than we are.
Q: Are we able to choose who marries us?
A: In order for us to provide the greatest amount of flexibility with wedding dates and times for our couples we have a number of clergy, some of whom are retired and some of whom are female, that we are lucky enough to be able to call on to take weddings for us when our Rector is not available. Therefore allocation of clergy is based on availability on a certain day and time so unfortunately we are unable to take specific requests for a particular clergy member. If, however, you have a family member or friend who is licensed to conduct weddings in church who you would like to take or be part of your wedding service please contact our Church Administrator.
Q: We do not live in your Parishes but would like to marry in your church, is that possible?
A: Legally you have to live in the Parish where you are to be married but there are obviously many reasons why you want to be married in one of our churches. The residency rules have recently been changed to accommodate some of these reasons. You can now get married in any church if you were baptized there, if you are on the confirmation register of the church, if you have lived in the Parish for at least 6 months or if you have attended worship in the church for 6 months. You can also get married in any church if your parents or grandparents were married there or if your parents have lived or worshipped at the church for 6 months. Please do contact us if you have any problems with this.
Q: One of us or both of us are divorced, can we still marry in your church?
A: We do marry people who have been married before but this is at the Rector’s discretion and you will need to be interviewed by him. The Rector interviews all wedding couples and has the final say as to whether the wedding will take place. He usually does this after the paperwork has been completed by our administrator.
Q: How much will the wedding cost?
A: The basic cost for the wedding service are set nationally by the Church of England. Click here for current costs.
Additional costs are charged for:
A verger to prepare the church for your service.
The church choir – who are based at Botley but who can come and sing in Durley or Curdridge if you so wish.
The bells – the cost varies depending on which church you are married in.
Q: When do we pay?
A: We take a deposit of £100 in cash or as a cheque when you book the wedding and the rest is paid when you come to check your details for the register, which is usually the week before the actual wedding, or we can take payment via BACS (internet banking).
Q: One of us is Roman Catholic, is that a problem?
A: No that is fine by us.
Q: Do we have to undergo any preparation?
A: Yes you do! We have two sessions that we like you to attend:
The first one is usually held annually at All Saints’ Botley on the first Sunday in February from 15:00 – 17:00. You will be able to meet all of the people involved in the elements of your wedding – the clergy, the music director, the flower arrangers, the organists and the choir. We also have ‘Space to Think’ sessions which are literally a time to think about what marriage means, what your service will involve and the vows you are about to take.
We have three of these two hour sessions spaced throughout the year. We do like you to attend both of these sessions.
Q: Does our wedding have to be on a Saturday?
A: No it does not. However if you choose to have your wedding on any other day it will limit the number of bell ringers and choir who are available.
Funerals, Burials and Memorial Services
To make things easier for you at a difficult time, normally we would deal with your funeral director directly regarding all aspects of a funeral service. However, we can help in any way if there are particular circumstances which means this is not possible.
When time has passed since the funeral and you feel ready to book a memorial service, or arrange for a burial (interment) of ashes, we would be happy to assist you with this. Please contact the Church office to discuss details and dates.