The Official Website of the United Benefice of the Laughton, Ripe & Chalvington Churches

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Weddings, Baptisms & Funerals

Weddings

Are you thinking of a Church of England wedding but are not sure which parish Church you can choose? 

Lots of people marry in their own local church, but we know that you might like to marry in a church away from where you live because it has special significance for you through family or other connections. 

An engaged couple can do just that if either of you can show just one of the seven connections with any of the three churches in this Benefice.

 
You can marry in a Church of England church if you can show:- 


  • that one of you has lived in the parish for at least 6 months, or
  • that one of you was baptised in the parish in a Church of England Service, or
  • that one of you has been prepared for confirmation in the parish and has been confirmed in a Church of England service and that the confirmation is entered in a register belonging to a church in the parish, or
  • that one of you at any time has regularly gone to normal church services in the parish church for a period of at least 6 months, or
  • that one of your parents, at any time after you were born has:
- lived in the parish for a period of at least 6 months, or
- has regularly gone to normal church services in the parish for at least 6 months, or
  • that one of your parents or grandparents was married in the parish.
 And did you know that if you have moved house to live within this Benefice, you’re immediately connected to the parish church there?
That means you can marry in the church of your new parish.

In all cases involving church services – i.e. going to normal church services, baptism, confirmation or marriage – this applies only to Church of England services.  Even if you cannot demonstrate any of the above connections, we would like to help you explore whether it may still be possible for you to marry in your special church.

Of course this is only a brief summary of the rules and there may be other factors that need to be discussed. 

If you would like to discuss the possibility of getting married in a church in this Benefice, please do not hesitate to contact one of our Churchwardens.   Click HERE to email Churchwarden


Baptisms

Everyone is welcome to have their children christened in their parish church.  During the Christening service your baby will be baptised.  There are around 10,000 babies and children baptised in the Church of England every month.  We also welcome adults who want to be baptised.

Your child is precious to you and precious to God.  At Baptism you make a decision to start your child on a journey of faith.  The church and the godparents support the family and the child in this decision.

Baptism therefore is the sign of entry into the Christian church.  People of any age can be baptised, not just babies and small children.  Often it is the choice that parents make on behalf of their baby or small child.

Others may choose to have a blessing or dedication, promising to support their child and leaving the decision for baptism for the child to make when they are older.

A ‘Christening’ is also another word people use in referring to baptism of a baby or child, but baptism more accurately reflects the meaning of what is happening and reminds us of Jesus’ baptism too.

Baptism signifies a welcome into God’s family to grow and learn, with the hope and expectation that he or she will become a part of the Christian community of the church.

The church is happy to baptise a child on the understanding that parents and Godparents will bring the child up with knowledge of what the Christian faith stands for, so that when older the child can make his or her own decision to follow Jesus Christ, with the help of the Holy Spirit. This is often marked at a Confirmation Service.

Please do contact one of our Churchwardens directly if you would like to ask about any aspect of Baptism arrangements.    Click HERE to email Churchwarden


Funerals

A funeral marks the close of life on this earth. It is the opportunity for family and friends to express their grief, to give thanks for the life of the person they have loved, and to commend them into God’s keeping.

There are a number of different ways that funeral and thanksgiving, or memorial, services can take place.

If the person who has died was living in this area immediately prior to their death, they are usually entitled be buried in the cemetery area of the churchyard, or to have their cremated remains interred in the Garden of Remembrance.

Sometimes a funeral service is held in church, and the coffin is then either taken into the churchyard for burial, or to the crematorium where the final part of the service, and the cremation, takes place. Sometimes the whole funeral service takes place at the crematorium and is followed, either on the same day or at a later date, by a service of thanksgiving for the life of the departed, at the church.

The funeral director will discuss these different options with you, but please do contact one of our Churchwardens directly if you would like to ask about any aspect of funeral arrangements.   Click HERE to email Churchwarden