Other services

OUR SERVICES


The Church is a community of people who have a "mustard grain of faith". We are not arrogant, thinking we have answers to everything. We have a humility that respects the questions inside most people, questions like: why was the world created, is there a life after death, how do I find myself and live in peace?" These are not questions that scientists can answer yet they are the most fundamental and universal questions of all.

As a people we travel through life trying to gain insights at stages on our journey. A life of faith can help us. Religion, like anything, can be good or bad: bossy, overbearing religion can inhibit and terrorise us; good religion should support and encourage us. 
Here at St Andrew’s we aim to support and encourage. We will do anything we can to help you on your journey. There are religious tools to help us to do this and they are called Sacraments. Some sacraments, like Holy Baptism and Confirmation mark stages on our journey of commitment; Marriage is given to form a structure for a lifelong relationship in its inevitable turbulence; the Sacraments of the Sick are given to strengthen and encourage us when times are hard. The Sacrament of Holy Communion is there to sustain us week by week, day by day, as we seek an integrated and settled life. You can read more about the various sacraments by clicking the links in the menus bar at the top of this page (under Other Services)

Many people come to church who have no background in Christianity. We are happy to share our faith and teaching is done in the sermons (addresses) at the Sunday masses, in special courses, in Baptism and Confirmation classes and in individual teaching sessions.

We aim to help you in whatever way we can. We will visit you at home or you may come to our home. Tell us what you need and we will do our best to respond!

Weddings

Marriage

St Andrew’s is a wonderful setting for your wedding - and we would be delighted if you chose to have your special day here. 

There are a few important things to consider however.
Firstly, the law states that you may get married in the church in the parish in which one of you is resident. Parish boundaries are sometimes quite difficult to discover, but a really useful website is www.acny.org.uk when you arrive at the site, type in your postcode and it will tell you which parish you are in. If that parish has a link on that site you will be able to click on it to find out more information about a particular church. If one of you live within this parish, then you may get married at St Andrew’s.  
Living in the parish is not the only circumstance where you can get married here. It’s possible there are a number of churches that you can get married in legally, as a bride and groom-to-be can marry in a church away from where they live if either of them can show just one of seven connections with the parish. Those connections are listed here.
The website yourchurchwedding.org has lots of information about getting married in church and is well worth a look!
If you have any questions regarding getting married at St Andrew’s then contact Fr David. He would be delighted to hear from you and talk through some further details or answer any questions you may have.
One common question is “how much will it cost?”
The answer to that question is dependent on what you would like within the service.
The basic fees for the wedding service are approximately £450 (although they do vary slightly from year to year) On top of this there are fees for an organist, flowers, lighting and various other sundry fees. The average church wedding including all the above fees would be in the region of £450 - £600 although as stated previously this can vary. Fr David will be pleased to go into further details when you contact him. 

At a marriage service

    * The bride (often with her father), and the groom (often with his best man) will join the Priest at the altar in the presence of their family and friends. The Priest will welcome everyone and usually a hymn is sung. Sometimes friends of the couple give readings from the Holy Bible or other sources.
    * The Priest will ask anyone in the congregation, and the couple, if they know of any reason why the marriage should not take place
    * He will ask the couple to join their hands and to make their marriage vows to each other. He will bless the wedding rings and the couple will place rings on each other’s fingers as a sign of commitment.
    * He will bless their marriage and, with his stole, tie a knot around their right hands to symbolize that they are now “one flesh”. He will invite the couple to show their love with a kiss.
    * The couple, two witnesses and the Priest will sign the marriage registers before the couple leaves the church to celebrate with family and friends.

Baptisms or Christenings

Baptism

If you would like your child baptised (Christened) at St Andrew’s we would be delighted to welcome you into the church family and discuss arrangements and preparations for this wonderful celebration.

Baptisms can take place during our 10am Mass on a Sunday morning (although not on the 1st Sunday of the month) or at 12.30pm on Sundays. If you have your child baptised at 12.30pm outside of the main service we ask that you come along to our Family service on the First Sunday of the following month to receive your child's baptism certificate and be welcomed into the church family.

During the service:
    * The candidate for baptism comes to the priest at the font and makes Christian promises or has promises made by godparents
    * Is anointed with the Oil of Catecheumens, an oil of strength and protection
    * Is washed with blessed water as a sign of dying with Christ and rising again with Him
    * Is anointed with the Oil of Chrism (the oil used for anointing the monarch at the Coronation Service) as a sign that he shares in the Kingship of Christ
    * Receives a candle lighted from the Pascal (Easter) candle to symbolise the light of the risen Christ in his new, baptismal life

Baptisms should normally be conducted in the church in the parish in which you are resident. If you are not sure which is your parish church please check the website www.acny.org.uk when you arrive at the site, type in your postcode and it will tell you which parish you are in.
There are no set fees for a service of Baptism although as part of the service there will be a money collection taken or a plate for donations will be placed at the back of the church.

In preparation for the Baptism, you will be asked to choose at least 3 Godparents. 2 should be the same gender as the child to be baptised and 1 should be of the other gender. Godparents must all be Baptised themselves and should also be Confirmed. They should also be at least 16.

If you wish to discuss details further, please contact Fr David and he will then be in touch to talk further about arrangements.

Funerals

Funerals

The death of someone we love is inevitably painful and traumatic. We want to help you as much as we can at this difficult time. If you live in the Parish, or worship in one of our churches, you are entitled to the help of a Priest to assist you through the process of making funeral arrangements and mourning. It may be that you would like a Priest to take a service for you at a local cemetery or crematorium or you may prefer to have a service in one of our churches before going to the cemetery or crematorium for a much briefer service of committal.

The service can be done with great simplicity or with more ritual and ceremonial. We will try to help you to decide what is best in your circumstances. It is important that the funeral helps you say goodbye to the person you love so the Priest will spend however long is necessary planning the service with you.
If a funeral happens in church:
    * The coffin may be brought into church the day before the funeral or may arrive with the mourners at the time of the funeral
    * The coffin may be draped in a beautiful pall to represent the continuing protection of the Baptismal robe. A crucifix and an open Holy Bible will be placed on the coffin. The Easter candle of new and risen life will burn near the coffin to show that as we die in Christ, so we shall be raised in Christ
    * The Priest will welcome everyone and say a prayer
    * Sometimes members of the family read from the Holy Bible; sometimes they read poems written by others or by themselves
    * The Priest or a member or friend of the family will talk about the deceased person
    * The Priest will pray for the deceased person and for those who mourn. Usually everyone joins in saying the Lord’s Prayer
    * The Priest may sprinkle the coffin with water to remind everyone of the promises secured in the waters of Holy Baptism. He may also burn incense to remind everyone of the sweetness of Heaven
    * He will bless everyone before the coffin and mourners leave the church
    * There can be hymns, organ music, a choir and a Requiem Mass.
After the service:

    * The coffin will be taken to the graveside or the crematorium for committal
 
    * If at any time you would like help with a bereavement problem or want to talk about the issues raised here please contact Fr David
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