Weddings Funerals and Baptisms
As a parish church, part of the national Church of Scotland, we provide the above services for people who live in our parish community (see map/list of streets).
There are no charges or fees for the minister, as the church makes him freely available to serve the whole community.
However when the church building is used for weddings or funerals there are costs involved (eg to cover heat and light, and the professional fees of organist and church officer.). All these will be explained when you make initial enquiries about such services.
The following information is a brief guide to what you can expect regarding each type of service.
Weddings can take place in church and should be arranged with the minister before making other arrangements so that a suitable date can be agreed on. You do not have to be a church member to get married in church, but it will be a religious ceremony and so you have to be willing to accept all that entails.
You should arrange to see the minister at Vestry Hour or by contacting him directly (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org )
He will talk to you about why you want to marry in church, what a religious wedding means to you, about the legal requirements, arrange a mutually suitable date (to avoid holidays etc) and discuss the detail of the service with you. This will be over several sessions prior to the actual wedding day.
Everyone belongs to a parish and as a national church, the Church of Scotland is responsible for the conduct of funerals for all who do not have “their own” minister. Usually the undertaker will know who the parish minister is and make the initial contact. In this case, it is a three way discussion about when the funeral can take place as it has to be at a time when the minister, the undertaker, church or crematorium are free as well as it being suitable for family and friends of the deceased.
You can expect the minister to speak directly with the immediate family of the deceased as soon as is practical after the initial contact by the undertaker. He will then arrange to meet in person, either at your home or at the church if you prefer (or if this is impractical because of time or distance to arrange to speak again about the detail of the service).
A funeral conducted by a minister is always a religious service, a celebration of the deceased’s life set in the context of the Christian hope of resurrection. Within that framework, and the time limits placed on the service by its location, there is scope for input by the family of the deceased – that is why the minister will talk to you about the details of the service prior to it taking place.
The Church of Scotland has clear guidelines about who may be baptised and when.
Normally we baptise only children of parents who are themselves church members or committed to being part of the Christian community.
There are exceptions however, and in recent years the church has allowed for a “Service of Blessing” for parents who want to give thanks for their child’s birth but who feel they cannot in all conscience commit to the vows of Christian upbringing.
You should feel free to discuss these matters with the minister who will treat your views with sympathy and in confidence.
The church does not seek to exclude anyone and the minister will help you decide which type of service is appropriate to your special circumstances.
Adults too are welcome to be baptised upon confession of their faith in Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord, and we hold regular “Enquirers’ Classes” for those who want to know more about the Christian faith, regardless of whether they then wish to go on and become a part of the church community.
With all these matters the priority should be to speak to the minister as soon as possible so that you can have time to decide which course of action is the best for you.
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