Baptism (Christening)

Many congratulations on the arrival of your baby! Baptism is the ritual through which new Christians become members of the Church: water is poured on the candidate to remind us that Jesus gives us life and washes us clean. Godparents, who are themselves baptised Christians, are often appointed at the christening to help a child’s growth in faith.

Baptism is about community and membership: we welcome the baptism of all who live within the parish or who regularly worship at St Michael’s or St Mary’s. Baptism is a celebration of the whole congregation. This means it is always held during our main Sunday services (9.30am in St Michael’s and 6.00pm in St Mary’s), usually on the fourth Sunday of the month. Not all Christians are baptised as babies. We celebrate the baptism of adults too!

In baptism, parents and godparents make promises for the spiritual future of their child. If this does not feel right for you, we encourage you to think about a service of Thanksgiving instead. Thanksgiving for a Child is a family ceremony, not a public ritual. This means we offer a private service at a time of your choosing. A child at a Thanksgiving service may have supporters but these are not the same as godparents: supporters do not make formal commitments of faith nor do they themselves need to have been baptised.

What to do now

To discuss your options further, please contact the Vicar, Kenneth Padley

To apply for Baptism or Thanksgiving, please print our application form and return to The Parish Office, The Vicarage, St Michael’s Street, St Albans, AL3 4SL or email Georgie Ray

We highly recommend Church of England Christenings  which has further information on this topic.

Weddings

Many congratulations on planning your wedding! We’d love to mark this exciting time with you. Our two churches are popular with wedding couples: St Michael’s offers an ancient setting and a peel of bells; St Mary’s has an intimate village ethos which might be more appropriate for smaller numbers of guests.

Christian marriage is a religious and family celebration. It is also a public bond governed by the laws of the land. This means that everyone has the right to be married in the parish where they live or regularly attend worship. It is also possible for couples to marry in a parish with which they have a historic ‘qualifying connection’.

St Michael’s and St Mary’s also help couples with services of prayer after a civil wedding, or who wish to rededicate their wedding vows/rings at significant anniversaries.

What to do now

To request application paperwork or if you have questions (e.g. about your qualification for marriage with us, or the possibility of remarriage in church after divorce) please contact Georgie Ray in the Parish Office.

Do visit Your Church Wedding for further information about Church of England weddings.

Bereavement and Funerals

Death is the most painful parting which humans experience. If you or someone you know has recently lost a friend or relative then we want to help you and to pray for you.

What to do now

If you wish to explore arranging a funeral or memorial at St Michael’s or St Mary’s, please ask your Funeral Director to contact the Parish Office on 01727 835037. We aim to respond to funeral enquiries as quickly as we possibly can. Once a service has been agreed, one of the parish clergy will visit you, find out more about your loved one, and discuss arrangements for their service.

Further online support is available on Church of England Funerals .