Christians believe that marriage is a special relationship created by God. It involves a public commitment to a lifelong relationship of faithfulness and love between a man and a woman. This commitment is spelled out in the vows that the couple make to each other in the marriage service. Christians believe that marriage with its commitment to permanence offers the degree of stability and security that we all need in relationships and that the children of those relationships also need. For a couple to get married at Castle Church normally one person must either live in the parish or be on church electoral roll. In most cases others who have strong links with the church, but do not live in the parish are eligible. These sort of links include, parents being married here or having been baptised here. When one person has been married before and the previous partner is still alive (ie divorced), a Service of Prayer & Dedication after a Civil Marriage is offered. Contact the office to find out more.
As an Anglican Church, we baptise the children of professing Christians. The Baptism Service assumes that one or both of the parents are practising Christians and also already members of Castle Church. For the service to have any meaning for the church and family we therefore expect parents to be attending Castle Church regularly before we explore the possibility of baptising their child. This gives them an opportunity to decide whether to become members of our church family so that together we can help their child grow to know Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour. We are not trying to put up man-made hurdles over which parents have to jump, but to enable them to see the seriousness of the promises that they are making. For parents who are not sure about this important step, we run a course called Christianity Explored which gives the parents an opportunity to think through exactly what they do believe about God. The baptism service takes place within the morning service on the first Sunday of the month at the 10.30am service. This enables the Church family to share in the promises made with the parents and godparents to bring the child up within the Christian faith. Parents and godparents are expected to be able to respond with conviction and integrity to the questions asked of them personally. An alternative Service of Thanksgiving is more appropriate where the parents do not yet feel able to make the promises contained in the Baptism Service or do not wish to attend Castle Church regularly. If you would like more information on either option please get in touch with us.