Baptism is the way we make public our personal Christian commitment. Jesus was baptised in the river Jordan at the start of his ministry, and ever since, Christians have baptised new believers as the sign of their own commitment to Christian discipleship.

Can I be baptised at St John’s Bourne End?
At baptism, a person is baptised into the fellowship of the local church. The congregation greet that person at the service and promise to help and support them as they grow in the Christian faith. Therefore the person being baptised should either live in the parish of St John’s Bourne End or be part of a family who are regular members of St John’s Bourne End. There is no right age to be baptised and we welcome both children and adults. A baptism service at St John’s Bourne End takes place at our main 10.30am service.

Baptism of children and of infants
Young children are not able to express their own wishes about being baptised, nor can they make promises to follow Christ that are required at baptism. The promises, therefore, are made on the child’s behalf by parents and godparents. Godparents are friends chosen by the parents to help bring up children in the Christian faith until they can make the promises themselves at a service of confirmation.

How can I arrange a baptism?
In the first instance, contact the Vicar Revd Rebecca Fardell on 01442 865100, and we can then arrange for someone to visit and talk through the arrangements.

Getting married at St John’s Bourne End
Congratulations. Marriage is one of the biggest decisions anybody will make in life. It can be the beginning of a wonderful life with the person you love. But organising the wedding day can seem daunting, and making a go of married life an even greater challenge. We want to do all we can to make your wedding day special, and to help you prepare for a lifetime together.

Why get married in church?
A marriage service, wherever it is held, is a public declaration of love and life-long commitment to your partner. If you choose to get married in church, there is an added dimension – the assurance that God cares about your relationship and that his resources and strength are available to help you. Including God in your marriage doesn’t mean that you will avoid all the usual ups and downs, but you will know that you can look to God for help and guidance and that his love will sustain you. You will also have the support and encouragement of the Christian church family.

Who can get married?
God loves everyone, and Christian marriage is open to all those who ask for a Christian wedding: you do not need to be baptised or confirmed in the Church of England. Marriage in the Church of England must be between a man and a woman over the age of 18 years (or over the age of 16 if you have the written consent of your parents). You must not be married to anybody else, and may not be more closely related than first cousins. If one or both of you are not British citizens, you will need to discuss the possibility of obtaining a Special Licence with the minister at the outset, before a date for your wedding can be confirmed.

What if one of us is divorced?
Marriage in the Church of England is sometimes available to people who are divorced and whose previous partner is still alive. Under some circumstances this is possible at St John’s Bourne End, so please speak to the vicar to find out more.

Which church can I get married in?
At the moment, provided you meet the conditions above, you have a right to be married at St John’s Bourne End as long as one or both of you live in our parish. We can advise whether this is the case. You may also be married here if you have been worshipping with us regularly on Sundays for six months or more and are on the Electoral Roll. You will need to have your banns called in St John’s Bourne End, and also in any other churches whose parish you or your fiancé(e) live in.

Marriage at a church with a qualifying connection
Following the change in wedding regulations by the Church of England Marriage Measures Act 2008 it is now possible for a couple to be married in a church that has a special meaning to them. Therefore, providing the church is available for a service, couples will be able to choose to get married in:

  • their local parish the parish where they were baptised and/or confirmed
  • a parish they have lived in for 6 months or more, at any time during their lives
  • a parish they have attended worship in for at least 6 months
  • the parish their parents lived or worshipped in (during the child’s lifetime)
  • the parish their parents were married in the parish their grandparents were married in

You will need to provide evidence to support your qualifying connection. Please contact the Vicar Revd. Rebecca Fardell on 01442 865100 and she will be happy to discuss your requirements.