Christ the Lord, Broadfield
Church of England
Broadfield Barton, Crawley, West Sussex, RH11 9BA
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.
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.
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 and the vicar can help guide you through this process.
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 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 font baptism where water is poured over your head.. 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.
Font 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. Baptism take place during our 11am Service, often during the 1st Sunday of the month, but not always.
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.
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.
Christian 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 public and a God, friend and family can witness.
We love church weddings because they are a special 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.
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 vicar. Don't worry to much with times scale and other things just speak to the vicar as marriage is important to us at CtL we will always do our best to help.
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 vicar months before the wedding date even if you are marrying somewhere else as their is forms to be filled in, but we will guide you through this. We will happily pray for you and read your wedding banns. 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.
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 can pick music and a Bible reading – we can give help on choosing these. Most people have 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 £1,000's 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 is comfortably less than £600.
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.
Can we marry if one of us has been through divorce?
We recognise that sometimes things go very wrong in relationships. One of CtLs offers a place for discussion and a listening ear. 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.