Life events

Baptisms, weddings and funerals

Whether you have just got engaged and are thinking about getting married, whether you had a baby and are thinking about how to celebrate this wonderful new person in your lives, or whether you have just lost a loved one and are struggling to come to terms with how life might be in the future, the church is here for you.

With weddings, baptisms and funerals, your parish church has the right words and the right ceremony to mark these important life events. As a Christian community we are committed to supporting you through your life, by our prayers for our communities but also by being alongside you at major turning points. Our approach to weddings, baptisms and funerals is always personal and collaborative.

BAPTISMS

Baptism (or Christening) marks the beginning of someone”s journey with God. The journey is about discovering more about the Christian faith and how that changes our lives. Baptism is for everyone – babies, children, adults. As a person gets older and more able to make decisions for themselves the baptism service changes to reflect that. At a baby’s Baptism godparents play a key role in promising to support the child in their Christian faith. The Church of England welcomes all families for Baptism – whatever shape that family takes. You do not have to be married or have been a regular churchgoer – as a parent, you do not even have to have been baptized yourself – though you could be.

The key to Baptism is commitment.

If you find that this is not really a step you want to take the Church offers a service of Thanksgiving and Dedication too. This is for those who want to say thank you to God for the birth of their child and mark the fact of a new family unit but do not at this stage want to make a formal commitment to church.

For more information about christenings in an Anglican Church please visit https://churchofenglandchristenings.org/ or use the Contact Us page on this site to get in touch.

WEDDINGS

Congratulations if you’re thinking of getting married in Church!

Making your wedding vows in church means that God is part of your relationship to give you strength and guidance.

We have five beautiful churches in our Benefice, many of them centuries old, all of them listed. You might even be marrying in a church where your parents and grandparents were married. Certainly you will get married in a sacred space that has seen many couples make their vows over history.

When you get married in an Okeford Benefice Church you’ll find a supportive community there for you. You will get to know the Rector and your wedding will therefore be a personal and meaningful event.

It is possible to be married if one or both of you has been married before, but this is at the discretion of the Rector. We also offer a Service of Blessing after a civil marriage and can offer special prayers for those who have entered a same sex union.

For more information about getting married in an Anglican Church please visit https://www.yourchurchwedding.org or use the Contact Us page on this site to get in touch.

FUNERALS

Everyone is entitled to have a funeral in their parish church regardless of whether they attended church or not. Some of our Benefice churchyards are still open for burials, others are open for the interment of ashes.

Funerals can be big occasions with a packed church or can be very small quiet ceremonies. The whole service can be in church, or the first part can be in church and the committal at the graveside or crematorium or the whole service can be at the crematorium. There can be a private family funeral with a public memorial service at a later date. There are no right or wrongs.

For more information on Anglican funerals please visit https://churchofenglandfunerals.org.

The key thing to remember is that your parish church community is there for you before, during and, most especially, after the service.