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Christ the Lord, Broadfield

Church of England

Broadfield Barton, Crawley, West Sussex, RH11 9BA


Weddings, Funerals and Baptism

Introduction
Funeral information
Christening/baptism information
Marriage, Weddings and Divorce

Introduction

Real Christianity is about involvement in real lives. CtL is always pleased to be involved in key times in life like weddings, funerals and baptisms. One reason we are involved is because we're the Church of England – people approach CtL because that is what, maybe, is assumed is done. Another reason is because at key points in life many step back and take stock. When we start to ask 'why did that happen?' or 'what does all this mean?' we get to questions that are the biggest we'll ever ask.

CtL can help work through the questions and offer some God shaped support and guidance. We do not claim to have the answer to every question under the sun. Nor do we claim there are simple answers to every painful event in life. However, we passionately believe that exploring the central Christian claim that can be summarised as Jesus: Baby.Man.God - who He was and is, brings a different take on the questions and some amazing answers.

Funeral information

You are probably looking at this because you have recently been bereaved. Bereavement is never easy so we hope the following information is useful.

Planning a funeral – what do I need to do?
You will probably have spoken with the funeral directors. We work with all the funeral firms in Crawley and have a close relationship with many of their staff. Do speak with the undertakers about any questions you may have. They are also able to help guide you through the paperwork and legal side of a death. We work with many undertakers but find that we are often working alongside Peter and Jenny Martin as they have premises next to the church, on the Barton. To contact this Broadfield firm you can call them on 01293 552345.

Planning the funeral service – how?
We try and meet with you for a short time to talk about the funeral. We believe that God creates every person individually; therefore every funeral will be unique. This means talking with you about your loved one, their stories, character and some of their interests. We recognise this can be incredibly painful. When we meet we share with you what happens in the funeral service. There are three types of funeral: graveside, crematorium and church. Each one is conducted slightly differently. We explain some of the decisions you will need to make such as:

Frequently asked questions

Do I have to have hymns?
No you do not, but standing to sing helps to break tension. Christian hymns also help remind us that the funeral is more than just a human 'goodbye': it is a spiritual hope in a God who is merciful, loving and kind in a just and fair way.

How long is the service?
It is usually around 25 minutes long.

Do I have to say anything in it?
No you do not. Most people prefer to share a few thoughts with the Vicar, who then puts them together with a thought about Christ and the deepest things of life. If you want to say a few words and feel able to speak, or want to ask someone else to do so on your behalf, we always ask that you write your thoughts out in full for the day and share them with the Vicar before the service. This is in case the occasion is too much and someone else, such as the Vicar, might need to step in and take over.

For more helpful information try:

www.cofe.anglican.org for funeral information and spiritual support
www.deceasedpreferenceservice.co.uk for help to stop post in the deceased's name
www.uk-sands.org for help in issues of stillbirth and neonatal death
www.childbereavement.org.uk for information about death situations of a child
www.crusebereavementcare.org.uk for constant support 0870 167 1677

The team at CtL, most of whom have experienced profound loss at some point in life, are always available – just call the church office.

Christening/baptism information

Christening and baptism are the same – they just have a different name. At CtL we love to be involved in baptisms. They're a sign of God's love and our commitment to following Jesus Christ. They are about an outer sign of a deeply spiritual inner change that we each need – a change to live for God, to say 'thank you God for the Cross, thank you for forgiving sin'. For those not so sure about baptism there is an ancient service of thanksgiving, or 'dedication of a child'.

We have great fun in a baptism yet take the message of baptism very seriously. Anyone of any age can be baptised. Because baptism is so important, not as a one off event but as a statement of a life changing decision, we suggest that anyone wanting to be baptised, or have a baby baptised, find out a little about what is involved – not just in the service but also its powerful potential for a healthy spiritual life. This spiritual life is about being a follower of Jesus.

Is one baptism better than another?
There are two types of baptism at CtL: full immersion and infant. They both have the same purpose – that of being a sign of God's amazing gift, Jesus, and the willingness of the baptised person to grow as a Christian in God's community, His Church. Christian baptism is a baptism into the universal Christian church. There is no need to be 'rebaptised' if you have been baptised before or in another Christian church.

CtL has its own baptistery under the floor – rather like a mini swimming pool. It is used for full immersion baptisms and takes 9 hours to fill! Full immersion is a powerful sign of our trust in Christ as we go under the water, coming out again soaked and willing to live for Jesus in a new way. Older children and adults tend to choose full immersion.

Infant baptism is when water is poured on the head three times and the name of the Christian God is spoken: God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. Infant baptism tends to be chosen by parents for young children, although anyone can be baptised in this way if they wish. The type of baptism matters less than the baptism itself and a life lived for Christ in the years afterwards. Baptisms take place in the several times a year during a normal Sunday morning church service.

When and where are baptisms?
Baptisms always take place in a Sunday morning service. There are several Sunday services where it is possible to have a baptism, usually with up to two other families. We like to ensure there is not a huge scrum of people being baptised – it is meant to be very personal – so do get in touch sometime in advance if a baptism could be of interest to you.

Thanking God for a child
There are many who would want to thank God for their child, yet are unsure of their particular belief of God. Most parents would like to gather in the church for a brief service, yet would feel strange making baptism promises they know, in their heart, they cannot keep.

The promises in baptism (as the baptised adult or as a godparent for the child) are:

The service 'Thanksgiving for the gift of a child' is an ancient service. It used to be known as 'The churching of Women' many years ago. In it God is thanked for the gift of the child, promises concerning being a parent are made and invited sponsors – rather like Godparents – are welcomed and prayed for. We have several thanksgiving services a year, always on a Sunday at 12.30pm in their own special service. [back to top]

Marriage, Weddings and Divorce

Congratulations if you are reading this and are getting married! We would love to be involved in some way if you would like us to be.

What's marriage got that living together hasn't?
People often ask what the difference is between a wedding and living together. Legally there are many differences. Spiritually there is one major difference.
Marriage is where a commitment is made, under God, to be one together for better or worse. It is beyond short-term convenience or a ring-fenced contract and into the realm of life-long, hard working commitment. It is deliberately very public and a God, community, friend and family event. Marriage is where in God's view sex is good and where there is lifelong friendship and support, nurturing and child-development. It is true that a wedding service does not guarantee life-long commitment. Marriages also separate, yet less often than partnership. God longs to bring healing, forgiveness and change to those who have endured such pain. For those in relationships, marriage is always God's spiritual way of living.

Weddings
We love church weddings because they are a community event and a way to say 'God, be in our life and in our marriage'. CtL believes that a wedding day is the beginning of something very special. Recognising that stable, long term marriage is hard work we have a number of marriage mentors who can offer support - if it is wanted at some point. This is a quiet, behind the scenes activity designed to enhance relationships and bring community stability, particularly where children may be involved. Our marriage mentors include Hovan and Debbie Catchatoor and Roger and Jackie Batchelor. They can be contacted through the church office.

Before the wedding – what do I need to do.
If you want to get married in a church you must get in touch with the local vicar where you want to get married. Usually, you marry in the church of the local area where the bride lives. If you do not live together, you will also need to get in touch with the church of the area where the future husband lives. Some churches are booked two or three years ahead for weddings so it is never too early to make a phone call. Because marriage so important to us at CtL we will always do our best to help –such as moving dates of events to ensure you can have a wedding when it suits you.

If you are marrying in a church, whether that is CtL or another church somewhere else, you will need to fill in some legal declarations and have these checked and read out. It is important to get in touch with the CtL office many months before the wedding date even if you are marrying somewhere else. This form filling can be seen as a chore, but it's a legal requirement and, from the information, CtL will then pray publicly in church for you. We pray for you and read your banns for at least three Sundays within three months of the date your wedding. Many couples comment that they find it a slightly surprising and lifting experience to sit in a church and hear their names, said together, in public like this. Once married, more than one couple have decided to start going to church just because of this.

If you would like to marry at CtL, or, as a local resident, need to have your banns read due to a wedding elsewhere please contact the church as soon as possible. We will put you in touch with a couple in the parish. They take down some details needed for the banns form. Information needed includes your name and address and the full name of the church you will be marrying in. We need quite a bit of notice to get things right for you and the correct papers organised.

Can I marry at CtL and what do I need to know?
You need to check you can marry legally – there are clear rules as to who can marry. You can find a great deal of information on www.cofe.anglican.org for church wedding information and spiritual support.

If you want to marry at CtL we like to talk the wedding service through with you. The service needs to be personal and reflect who you are. You will need to pick a couple of hymns and a Bible reading – we can give help on choosing these. You will also need some music before the wedding begins (called the Prelude), a piece for the bride to come into (the Processional), and also more music for the signing of registers and when leaving as husband and wife (the recessional).

There are a number of costs involved in a wedding. Many people think that it is going to cost £1,000s for the church but the church service is probably the cheapest part of the whole day. Depending on what is needed, a complete wedding service at CtL should be comfortably less than £500: perhaps a lot less.

Wedding blessing after a registry office, renewal of wedding vows/thanks for years of marriage
People choose to marry at many locations outside of church. At all of these images and references to God are not allowed. If you marry at a registry office you can usually have a wedding blessing at CtL afterwards. We also offer to help people celebrate big milestones in marriage – perhaps a 10th wedding anniversary for example – with a short service that is personal to the couple and often at that stage, the children. We do not charge a set amount for a service of blessing or thanks for marriage but invite you to make a donation towards the work of CtL.

Divorce and DRW
We recognise that sometimes things go very wrong in relationships. One of CtLs quiet works is to offer a place for discussion and a listening ear. For those who find themselves in the pain of divorce there is a group called Divorce Recovery Workshop that runs at another church in the team, St Mary's in Southgate. For details of DRW please call the parish office on 01293 547261. If you would like to explore God's loving kindness in the midst of a divorce or pained relationship, please get in contact with the church office.

Can we marry if one of us has been through divorce?
In often very complex and sometimes painful lives there are few straightforward situations. Re-marriage is one of those very difficult situations. CtL believes that in the Bible God sets out an ideal way for living: in life-long marriage and growing commitment to one person. However, Jesus makes it plain that there are times when divorce is the only way forward – when there has been unfaithfulness to the marriage such as through an affair or other abuse.

If one of you has been divorced it may be possible to marry at CtL. This would depend on the circumstances involved – do ask if you would like to quietly talk through the possibilities. Some of this quiet conversation will be about legal matters, including asking about divorce papers. Other aspects of the conversation will be about practical things such as provision for children from a previous marriage. There will also be time to talk about spiritual matters such as relationships and forgiveness.

 
For more information, please call 01293 541275 or email the Vicar