Weddings, Baptisms, Funerals and Confession
For over a thousand years local people have been married, christened, had their funeral or made their confession here.
St Mary's is that rare thing: a beautiful medieval church set in the midst of urban sprawl. It is therefore rather attractive for weddings.
If you would like to be married here, please contact Fr Chris to discuss your plans and hopes.
We are always delighted to baptise (christen) new members of the Church, whether infants or older. This takes place in the course of a Sunday Parish Mass.
If you would like your child baptised, or you are interested for yourself, please come to a Sunday morning service and make yourself known. In the first instance you should talk to Esther Ugwunkwo, who will give you a form to complete and a helpful leaflet.
Most years we also take (mostly) young people through their First Communion and/or Confirmation. Please talk to Fr Chris to find out more about this.
For funerals, the usual procedure is for the funeral director to contact the Parish Priest on behalf of the family. Thereafter Fr Chris will meet members of the family to plan the service, which can be anything from a very simple, quiet and short service to something much more elaborate, including a Requiem Mass.
Fr Chris is also very happy to meet to discuss your thoughts and plans for your own funeral. This is not a morbid or pessimistic thing to do, but can be both practical and rewarding. Practical, because it helps your family to know what you would like, at a time when they will be grieving, and wanting to do the right thing. Rewarding because it offers a special opportunity to talk about the very serious things of life. It’s vital to a mature Christian faith that we can look forward to death and prepare well for it. Such conversations are always totally confidential, of course. And we can store a signed copy of any funeral plans in our safe.
If you or someone close to you is approaching the end of their life, Fr Chris is able to come and offer the Sacraments of the Last Rites. This is a simple and beautiful time, where you can make your peace with God and receive anointing with oil and viaticum. This marks a unique moment – the Holy Spirit rests on you as you enter your final journey in this life.
The Sacrament of Reconciliation (Confession) is available every Saturday morning, 10-11 am, or by appointment. For other pastoral matters, please telephone or email the vicarage.