Midweek and Saturdays
Wednesday 10am (weekly) ONLINE – an opportunity to say Morning Prayer together, read and discuss the Bible readings, and pray for the needs of the church family, nation and wider world. The service lasts 45 minutes (largely due to animated discussions about the Bible passages!)
Wednesday 6pm (monthly) – classic Evensong from the Book of Common Prayer with hymns and a short talk. It is held on the 1st Wednesday of the month in the Church and lasts 60 minutes.
Thursday 11.30am (fortnightly) followed by lunch – a relaxed service of Holy Communion which provides an opportunity to worship midweek and includes a short bible talk. It runs on the 1st and 3rd Thursday of the month and lasts for 45 minutes.
Saturday 4-6pm (fortnightly) OPEN HANDS CONGREGATION – an accessible service for all plus refreshments, Bible teaching, prayer and fellowship. Please visit our Open Hands page to discover more about this service.
Our clergy are very willing to bring communion to members of the local community who are unable to get to church through illness or infirmity. Please contact the church office (01483 567072) to arrange this.
We tend to follow a teaching series each term on a Sunday across our services with a variety of preachers. Previous series have included – The Sermon on the Mount, Nehemiah, Dine Like Jesus and What has the Resurrection ever done for us?
To listen to a previous talk, click here
Baptisms, Weddings and Funerals
You may have lots of pictures in your mind about what your wedding day will be like – what you will wear, who will be there, the weather (!), the speeches at the reception; but the most important part of the day is the marriage service because it is here that you will make a commitment to one another for the rest of your lives before God, your family and your friends.
It also marks the beginning of a journey together, a new way of life. The church is here to help you begin that journey and to travel with you along the way.
The minister taking your wedding will work with you to plan your wedding service, helping you put the service together and answering any questions you might have.
We also strongly recommend you attend a marriage preparation course and read a book on marriage.
What does God think about marriage?
We believe that marriage is a gift from God – it was His idea and right at the beginning of the Bible, we read that ‘for this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife and they will become one flesh’ (Genesis 2:24)
Why get married in church?
Great question! After all, you can married anywhere these days. Although the temptation is to regard marriage in church as ‘doing it properly’, you are specifically inviting God to bless your marriage and be part of your married life together. That is why it is about so much more than ‘getting a piece of paper’.
Are divorcees allowed to get married at Christ Church?
At present, the laws governing marriage do not allow remarriage in church where the former partner is still alive, unless there are exceptional circumstances. This is because the church has a responsibility to protect the understanding of marriage as a lifelong union. There is a realisation however, that there are times when a marriage fails, and so we review each request in its own right. This will involve a longer initial meeting with the minister.
We don’t come to church/live in the parish. Can we still get married at Christ Church?
In October 2008, the Marriage Measure became an Act of Parliament which meant that the following can be married at Christ Church
- you were baptised in the church
- you have been confirmed and your conformation is entered in the church register
- your parents or grandparents were married in the church
- you have lived in the parish for at least 6 months
- one of your parents has lived in the parish for at least 6 months during your lifetime
- you have attended services in the church for at least 6 months
- one of your parents has attended services in the church for at least 6 months during your lifetime If you are in any doubt, please contact the minister
What are banns?
Banns are part of the legal requirement for marriage in the UK. If you both live in the parish, arrangements for reading your banns are automatically made when you return your banns form. Banns are valid for 3 months. If either of you lives in another parish, banns must be read in the other parish as well as here. You must contact the vicar of that parish to arrange this. Once banns have been read, you must collect a certificate and return it to the minister taking your wedding at least 2 weeks before your wedding. Your banns will be read at Christ Church on the first three Sundays of the month, usually 2 months’ prior before your wedding.
How much does it cost to be married at Christ Church?
We follow the set fees by the Church of England. There are a number of optional extras depending on your requirements, please enquire further.
A useful website
A brilliant place to start is the official Church of England website https://www.yourchurchwedding.org/ This has lots of useful information to help you as you plan your wedding. For example, you can listen to hymns online, view the words, choose Bible readings, and print out a complete personalised order of service to take to the minister as a first draft discussion starter. It even adds your names into the vows, so you can see exactly the promises you will be making.
Can I be married at Christ Church to someone of the same sex?
Although same sex-marriage legislation is now in force, it is not legally possible for same-sex couples to marry in the Church of England.
We are able to offer to those who live in the parish or worship regularly at Christ Church, two services that you may like to choose for you and your child. We also offer adult baptisms and renewal of Baptism.
Thanksgiving for the gift of a child
A thanksgiving is a short service in which we thank God for the child and pray God’s blessing on them. Parents sometimes choose this service when they want to leave baptism until the child can choose it for him/herself, but would still like to give thanks for their child; or when they don’t feel comfortable making the promises and declarations in the baptism service, but recognise that something has happened for which they wish to give thanks to God.
Baptism of a child
In a baptism service, the child is baptised on the understanding that they will be brought up within the Christian faith and that their faith will be nurtured in the home and within a local church congregation. In the service, parents and godparents make declarations and promises about their own faith and about their intention to nurture their child’s faith.
If you are wanting to explore baptism for your child and have not yet been to Christ Church, we would love to welcome you to one of our services. Here you will be able to get to know and join us as a church family and grow deeper in your own faith and trust in God. Please be sure to introduce yourselves to the welcome team so that we know to look out for you and can help you connect with others.
Baptisms take place once a month during our 10am service following a short baptism preparation course led by a member of the staff team. The preparation course will help you explore the meaning of baptism, and understand the promises that you will be making during the service.
If you would like to chat further, please contact the Parish Office on 01483 567072 and one of the staff team will be in touch with you shortly.
We also offer baptism for those who have not previously been baptised, but would like to affirm their commitment to Christ as an adult, as well as reaffirmation of vows with immersion for those who have previously been baptised. Please contact the Parish Office to find out more details.
Frequently Asked Questions
There is no difference they are just different words for the same thing.
God loves encompasses your child whether you choose a service of Baptism or Thanksgiving. The most important thing is to work out what is best for you and your child at this stage and we will talk through the options with you.
It is important that at least one parent is able to say the baptismal promises with integrity. If you are not certain at this stage, there is no rush. Take time to find out more about the Christian faith by coming along to Christ Church or chatting with a member of the staff team.
The Baptism service involves parents and Godparents making promises to bring up the child in the knowledge of God, to pray for them regularly and to be on the Christian journey themselves. Normally the family will chose Godparents who will pray for the child and take a keen interest in their day to day life and spiritual upbringing. Godparents must themselves be baptised Christians.
There are usually two or three Godparents but you can have more (within reason!)
When you bring your child for baptism, you will be asked to declare publicly on behalf of your child that you trust in Christ, and that you will bring your child up to follow Jesus. This declaration states that you have decided to turn away from everything which is evil or sinful and instead to turn towards Christ
The declarations made by you and the child’s godparents will be made in front of the church congregation; the church family here will promise to support you and pray for you and your child. Continuing to worship as part of our church family will help you and your child grow in faith alongside others.
No but it is helpful for you to be able to affirm for yourself the promises you are making for your child.
Funerals offer an opportunity for family and friends to come together to remember and give thanks for the life of their relative or friend, to grieve, and to commend the person into God’s keeping.
Planning a funeral can be a very difficult time, and we will work with you and the funeral director to ensure that all the practical arrangements run smoothly. A member of the clergy will work with you to plan a service that is a fitting tribute to your loved one.
Some deaths will be especially traumatic, distressing or unexpected. The Church has special funerals for children, or after sudden or violent deaths, including suicide.
Our ministers are available to take funeral services at a local crematorium or in church, and burials at local cemeteries. We are also able to intern ashes in our Garden of Remembrance following a cremation for those who have a connection to the parish.
Arranging a service
Many people choose to have a Christian funeral service. If you make the funeral arrangements directly with the funeral director, they will contact the minister who will then get in touch with you to arrange a time to meet to plan the service.
What are the options?
Most people choose between a service in church (followed by a burial or cremation) or at the local crematorium. There is also the option of having a thanksgiving service at a later date. It may be that the deceased has made a particular request in their will, so before you make a decision, please check with the executor of their estate. Other than that, it does come down to personal preference.
What does the service involve?
A service normally includes music, readings, prayers, a tribute, a short address and space for reflection.
The length of a service can vary, although it usually lasts for 30-45 minutes in church and 30 minutes in a crematorium. The committal service at the crematorium following on from a service in church usually lasts 10 minutes.
You can choose to have an order of service. Some do one themselves whilst others ask the funeral director to do it. If you decide to have refreshments after the service and a collection, you might like to mention these on the order of service.
Don’t worry if you do not know where to start, the minister will help you plan the service.
How much does it cost?
The service fees vary depending on where it takes place and whether you choose a burial or a cremation. The funeral director should be able to advise you on the fees.
What about parking?
Car-park space is limited. We usually try and reserve spaces in the front car park for the hearse and immediate family. Other parking is available in London Road station car-park off York Rd and in the car-park next to GLive off Dene Rd.
You might want to think about a map for those attending showing the church, adjacent car-parks, crematorium and where you will be gathering afterwards.
Garden of Remembrance
We do not have a churchyard at Christ Church, but we do have a Garden of Remembrance for those who have a strong connection with the church. If you decide to have the ashes scattered elsewhere, do make sure you check with the appropriate authorities that this is permissible.
In addition, we have a plaque on the wall where the names of those buried in the Garden of Remembrance can be added for an additional fee, and there is a space for people to leave flowers.
Coping with bereavement
Bereavement affects people in different ways. It can be a traumatic and stressful time. Sometimes, the sense of loss is immediate; for others, it comes at a later stage and one can go through the whole range of emotions. Please do not feel you are alone. If you would like someone to talk to or simply listen, the minister or a member of the church family would be more than happy to visit you. At Christ Church, we also have a Pastoral Team trained to support individuals and families through times of bereavement.
Annual Commemoration Service
We have an annual Commemoration service on Remembrance Sunday afternoon to remember those who have died. This is a wonderful opportunity to gather with friends and family to remember and give thanks for the life of those who have died.
After the funeral
As a church family, we care for those who live in our community and promise to pray for you as you go through this difficult time. Many people find it helpful to come to church at such a time, in order to take some time out to remember and to think about the bigger picture. You are most welcome to join us any Sunday at 8am or 10am.
It may be that you have some unanswered questions which you would like to work through. We also run enquirers course such as Alpha which help people find out about who Jesus is and why Christians believe He matters. Please contact the Parish Office if you would like more information.