Click on the tabs below to view essential information about the ceremonies available at St Mary's.
From 2008 new regulations came into force regarding who can legally qualify to get married at St Mary's Church. Couples need to establish a "qualifying connection" by virtue of one or more of the following:
a) by being baptised in St Mary's and having an entry in the baptism register;
b) by being confirmed in the Church of England and having an entry in St Mary's confirmation register;
c) by having a parent or grandparent who was married at St Mary's;
d) by having your usual place of residence in the Parish for at least six months;
e) by having a parent whose usual place of residence has been in the Parish for at least six months at any time after you were born;
f) by habitually attending public worship at St Mary's for at least six months;
g) by one parent habitually attending public worship at St Mary's for at least six months at any time after you were born.
The clergy will be willing to talk through these options in more detail with couples. In addition, if either party has had a previous marriage dissolved then this must be discussed with the clergy in accordance with the Church of England guidelines.
About a month before the wedding your banns will be read in Church. This is a legal requirement and a public announcement of your intention to marry. You should be present to hear your banns read, and it is often a good time to involve parents. If either of you live outside the area covered by the Warwick Team of churches you must arrange for banns to be read at the parish where you live, and obtain a certificate which you should bring with you to the wedding rehearsal. Please note that we cannot legally marry you without this certificate.
Choosing wedding music can be a daunting prospect. In order to help you decide, St Mary's produces a list of hymns and choral and organ music. This list of Wedding Music Repertoire includes a wide range of recommendations of both the traditional and the contemporary music (including the standard "classics") that from our experience works well in St Mary's. St Mary's can provide a treble voice choir made up of either girls' or boys' voices (subject to availability) or a full choir of men and boys, or men and girls, (subject to availabity) to help lead the singing of the hymns and provide music during the signing of the register. Where the choir is singing a conductor is required and will be provided. Please bring 20 copies of the order of service to the wedding rehearsal so that the choir can rehearse the hymns before the day itself. St Mary's will provide an organist from its team of professional musicians. If you need to explore your music choices still further, the Director of Music, Oliver Hancock, will be happy to discuss these with you;
he can be contacted on 01926 403940 or emailed on email@example.com
These are helpful to the congregation because a couple's choice may often be from a number of different hymnbooks. If you intend to have these printed, do allow plenty of time. Three weeks before your wedding is a good rule of thumb if you are using a professional printer.
Please make sure your photographer knows photos are permitted only during the signing of registers, the arrival of the bride and groom, when you leave in procession, and outside the Church. Professional videos may be made only by prior arrangement with the Vicar of St Mary's. If music and musicians are involved in your wedding, a licence must be applied for from the Mechanical Copyright Protection Society for the professionally made video, and additional fees are payable to the musicians. The focus of the service is the bride and groom so it is important that the person making the video recording remains in the designated place and does not distract from the couple getting married. Please note that guests are not permitted to take photos or videos during the service.
St Mary's has an excellent flower team who give their services free.............so more of your money can go on flowers. They will provide two pedestal arrangements to a professional standard (plus decorations for the end of of each row of chairs if requested). Please contact Brenda Watts on firstname.lastname@example.org. We would be very grateful if flowers could be left for Sunday services.
You are welcome to use confetti outside the Church, as long as it is biodegradeable.
Please contact Glynis Nixon in the Parish Office ( 01926 403940) who will be happy to arrange for a team of bellringers, subject to availability.
These are the costs of all the possible elements for weddings and blessings. Please feel free to discuss your particular requirements with the clergy. Please note that there are some additional church and musical costs if your service is videoed.
Church marriage service and fees
£590.00 (£640.00 if videoed)
Church blessing service
£560.00 (£610.00 if videoed)
£140.00 (£280.00 if videoed
Treble voices' choir and conductor
£340.00 (£780.00 if videoed)
Men and treble voices' choir and conductor
£560.00 (£1120.00 if videoed)
The Parish Office will send you an invoice, and payment must be made three weeks before the service takes place. Payment may be made by cash or cheque to the Parish Office.
If you have any questions, or if we can help in any way, please do not hesitate to ask. Contact the Parish Office on 01926 403940, email email@example.com, or visit us in person at the Church (the Parish Office is at the far end of the Beauchamp Chapel). You can visit the Office betweeen 10.00am and 1.00pm, Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.
See also yourchurchwedding.org for information on planning your church wedding.
For those who are newly born there is a Service of Thanksgiving, and a Service of Baptism. However, in this day and age people's spiritual journeys are much more varied, so, for adults, the provision has been included to include services of Baptism, Confirmation, Affirmation of Baptismal Faith, and Reception into the Church of England. There are different implications behind each of these choices, and it is important to chose the service that is right for you.
Baptism marks the first steps in a person's journey of faith. This journey is a process of discovery which takes place within a community. The Church, parents and godparents are partners within the common adventure of faith, and this sense of collaboration underlies the solemn vows that are made on behalf of a child in infant baptism. In the service the godparents, parents and Church promise to keep the child in their prayers and to help him or her in their journey of faith. Their vows include the following questions and answers, and it is important that godparents have made these vows for themselves before making them on behalf of someone else.
Do you reject the devil and all rebellion against God?
I reject them
Do you renounce the deceit and corruption of evil?
I renounce them
Do you repent of the sins that separate us from God and neighbour?
I repent of them
Do you turn to Christ as Saviour?
I turn to Christ
Do you submit to Christ as Lord?
I submit to Christ
Do you come to Christ, the way, the truth and the life?
I come to Christ
Baptism has always been a sign of membership of the Church, which is why it is important that this service relates to the ongoing life of the local church. Any relationship goes through times of change and development. At a baptism a child begins his or her Christian journey and there are other stages on this road such as confirmation and first communion. Parents and godparents have an immensely important part to play in all this because it is their task to give the child they have brought for baptism the opportunity of growing in faith, just as he or she will develop physically or emotionally.
In the service of Baptism parents and godparents are affirming their own Christian faith and promising that they will bring up a child within that faith and within the family of the Church. Understandably some people feel that commitment is not something they can undertake but they would still like to give thanks for this wonderful moment in their lives. The birth or adoption of a child is a cause for celebration, and this service provides an opportunity for parents and families to give thanks and to pray for their life together. This service does not involve the same solemn promises as a service of Baptism but includes special prayers for the child and for his or her parents. Just as a child is dependant on the food provided by others, so we all need to feed on the Word of God, and in this service the child is presented with a special Bible which will be a source of spiritual nourishment in their journey of faith.
Increasingly everyone is making their own individual journey of faith. Better relations between the different denominations mean it is not unusual for people to move from one church to another in their spiritual pilgrimage. Sometimes they feel that they have found their "home" in the Church of England and wish to be formally received into the Anglican family. This is done by the Bishop in a special part of the Confirmation Service. Others have found that although they have been baptised or confirmed at a young age their faith journey has involved time away from the Church family. It is not possible to be "rebaptised" or "reconfirmed" but it is possible to solemnly reaffirm your baptismal vows, and that too can be done with the Bishop at a Confirmation Service or in your local church with people you know.
Because the whole Church is being asked to pray for the child being baptised, it is important that the service has an element which involves the whole congregation. Ideally the whole service can be included in one of the Family Services at 9.30am on the first Sunday of the month, or during the 10.30am Choral Eucharist on other Sundays. If that is not possible then it is possible to arrange a service at midday, and we ask that the family present its child at the next Family Service, when we are able to welcome them into God's family and present them with their certificate and a children's Bible.
This service is well suited to the traditional, quiet service for close family members in a church late on Sunday morning, or in the afternoon. Because the Service of Thanksgiving does not include the same commitment to growing within the family of the Church there is not the same need for the service to link in with the wider congregation. Nevertheless, we would be happy to welcome you to one of the Family Services and to present the Bible on that occasion.
Usually there are three godparents, traditionally two godmothers for a girl and two godfathers for a boy, but this is flexible. However, it is usual for all godparents to have been confirmed and vital that they are baptised.
You are more than welcome to take photos around the font after the service, or to gather people together to video family and friends, but often we find that if these things are done in the service more people watch the camera than the baby!
The first thing to do is to think through all that you have just read. There may be things with which you agree, some things with which you disagree, and some things that puzzle you. We are willing to talk further about any of this and to help you in any way we can. If you would like to take things further please contact Revd Vaughan Roberts at the Rectory, the Butts, Warwick, or on 01926 492909.
The churches in the Warwick Team make every effort to welcome children to their worship. At St Mary's there is a Family Service at 9.30am on the first Sunday of the month, and a Sunday School meets on the other three Sundays during the 10.30 Sung Eucharist. To find out more please ring 01926 312861. Looking ahead we have choirs for girls (aged 9 to 18, and for boys (aged 7 to 14). You can find out more about our choirs here. Please contact our Director of Music through the Parish Office on 01926 403940. We understand the pressures which can make it difficult to fulfil the vows you make on behalf of your child and are working hard to provide the support parents and families need in this day and age.
Whatever you decide, please be assured of our care and concern for you and your child. If there is any way in which we can be of help please do not hesitate to ask.
We hold Family Services on the first Sunday of every month (except August) at 9.30am. Everyone is welcome to come and enjoy the friendly atmosphere and sense of fellowship – you do not have to be accompanied by children.
Lay members of our congregation devise and lead most of the services but once a term Vaughan celebrates a family communion service. Each service has a theme, either linked to the church season or a nearby feast day, or to other aspects of our lives and our faith. Recently we have thought about St Valentine and love, celebrations, history and books, and Jonah and the whale. We have even made pancakes in church! Whatever the topic, the message of Christian love is always at the fore.
We welcome children of all ages and it is quite normal for there to be toddlers exploring the church while the service is going on, and sometimes even joining the service leader – noise is not a problem! The services are usually around 45 minutes in length, very relaxed and always involve some voluntary interaction and activity.
As well as taking part in these activities and answering lots of questions, children also often read the prayers and Bible readings. Many of our readers started standing up at the front of church with a microphone to say just a few words when they were three or four, and have now become as confident and fluent as any adult.
A very important part of most of our services is the opportunity to formally welcome children who have recently been baptised at St Mary’s as they start on the path of a Christian life. We hope that many of them and their families will return to share in the life of our church.
Music is integral to our worship and we sing a wide range of hymns and songs, usually accompanied by piano. Our music tends to be more modern than at the traditional services at St Mary’s but we sing well-known older hymns too. At the end of each family service there is a short voluntary, which is an excellent opportunity for one of the older children to play an instrument they are learning, in front of a friendly and highly appreciative audience. Afterwards there is time to get to know each other over squash, hot drinks and biscuits.
There are several key family events each year: On Good Friday morning we make the Easter garden which remains in church for the whole Easter season, and then enjoy hot cross buns together. At the start of December we hold our Christingle service and this is also an opportunity for us to hold a special Christmas collection for the local Foodbank. The extremely popular Crib Service is held every Christmas Eve, with the main parts taken by Family Service and Sunday School children. A new Crib Service is written each year, and all children who come are invited to dress up and join in on the stage.
Whether you are young or old, new to church or a lifelong attendee, you are very welcome to join us and become a part of our church family.
St. Mary’s Sunday school/Children’s Ministry
Sharing faith, fellowship and fun for our young people
On Sunday mornings in term time, during the 10.30am Eucharist, there is the opportunity for children to meet in the vestry (very close to where the main service is taking place). During this time we share our news together and enjoy a Bible or story reading (we have Bibles and story books that are appropriate for all ages), followed by a related practical activity, such as drawing, colouring or craft. Children are also given a specially printed activity sheet relevant to the worship theme. We end with a prayer, returning to the service just before communion.
For special services such as Mothering Sunday, Christmas, Easter, Harvest and other festivals, we remain in church and meet on the carpeted area, which is on the left of the church as you enter. Our ministry happens alongside the main service.
There are regular opportunities for children to take part in services, especially with readings and prayers in Family services and for festivals.
A list of dates is sent out each term detailing services and other events and activities for children. There is a full list of all services in the weekly newsletter.
Children aged from three years are welcome to attend on their own provided parents/carers are in church. Younger children are also very welcome provided they bring an adult with them! Older children often like to join the group too – perhaps those who attended when younger – helping the younger ones. Visitors are always welcome – please introduce your children before the service so that we know where you are sitting.
If you have babies and small children, you are very welcome to use the carpeted area during the service where books and small toys are available.
Our aim is to provide the opportunity for our young people to learn and to develop their faith as individuals in a way that is accessible, feels safe and offers practical and enjoyable activities, in order to achieve that sense of belonging that is important for all of us.
St Mary’s Pastoral Team is involved in maintaining a watching brief on the health and well-being of the Church congregation. It focuses on offering informal assistance and/or advice to all those within the Church Community who are sick, bereaved, lonely or who need help and advice. Sometimes, as well as offering a listening ear, this involves providing a pointer to other resources where more specific help may be available.
Activities include home visiting which can, if requested, include taking Holy Communion to those who have been unable to attend Church, hospital visiting and the occasional one-off request for help from a visitor to the Church. When a situation is long-term the Team also tries to keep in touch by sending greetings cards so that the individual is aware that they are not forgotten.
The regular Afternoon Tea initiative, undertaken jointly with members of St Mary Immaculate on the first Friday of each month, encourages people who live on their own to meet others for a chat and a tea – a facility that has been shown to have health benefits both physically and mentally.
The Team also involves itself in outreach and in 2017 raised money for the purchase of a cow to support the welfare of the girls in a hostel in Masasi, Tanzania. “Malala”, named after the young lady who has done so much to raise the issue of empowerment for women and girls, has not only provided milk for the students, but the sale of the extra milk has raised around £250 for the upkeep of the Hostel.