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Baptisms, Weddings & Funerals

RESTRICTIONS RE BAPTISMS/WEDDINGS/FUNERALS IN THE LIGHT OF COVID19

BAPTISMS

For the time being we will be unable to conduct Baptisms. We will be contacting everyone who already has a Baptism booked to let them know this and if possible make fresh arrangements, but this will be difficult as we are uncertain as to the timescales involved.

WEDDINGS

We are advised that weddings may still be held in Church, but due to the restrictions on public acts of worship it will not be possible to invite guests. In order for a Marriage to be legally correct there only need be 5 people present –

The Minister/The Bride/The Groom & two witnesses who are aged 18 or over.

However, a wedding in church is usually pre-notified by the ‘Calling of Banns’ on three occasions at the usually main Sunday service. This cannot now take place so it would be necessary to apply for a ‘Common Licence’ from the Diocesan Registrar (Leeds) in advance and this would replace the Calling of Banns.

Contact Details: Registry Clerks:

There is some more information on the Church of England website @ https://www.churchofengland.org/more/media-centre/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-churches#na

And about Common Licences @ https://www.yourchurchwedding.org/article/common-licences/

FUNERALS

In this exceptional time, the Government’s guidance on social distancing and self-isolation will impact the way funerals will be conducted for the immediate future. Christian funerals will continue in the Church of England but there will be some adaptations to protect everyone.

Before the Funeral

Meetings will be held by telephone rather than face-to-face. If meetings can only be held in person, then social distancing guidance will be followed.

Planning the Funeral

Although this will be very difficult for everyone, numbers of those attending the funeral will have to be kept to a minimum – immediate family only. This should also be communicated to anyone in the wider circle of friends, family or colleagues in advance. Sadly, those over the age of 70 and those with an underlying health condition are strongly discouraged from attending in the present circumstances.

Any changes to the normal service will be explained by the priest to the family.

Where family relatives or friends are unable to attend a funeral service, clergy can still take a funeral at the graveside or crematorium, even if those present are limited to clergy and funeral directors.

It may be possible for a memorial service to be held at some point in the future, which will be an opportunity for more people to come together once Government guidance permits.

Families may wish to organise and arrange with the undertakers for a recording to be made which can be sent to anyone unable to attend. We would be able to provide a written order of service, for families to send to relatives either by email or post.

It may be possible for an organist or verger (working sound system) to be present but cannot be guaranteed.

During the Funeral

Everyone attending the service must adhere to Government guidance on social distancing. Please follow the directions of the officiant and funeral director if you are attending a service. While naturally those present may wish to shake hands or hug, all present should refrain from doing so in light of guidance on physical distancing.

After the Funeral

In keeping with the recommendations to limit social gatherings, there should not be a wake or other gathering after the funeral.

If you are organising the funeral of a loved one, we are acutely aware of what a difficult time this will be. We will do our best to explain any changes or delays which may be an inevitable consequence of the current restrictions – for example, to the burial of ashes – but we are here to support you and to ensure a Christian funeral and burial can still be provided.

Based on Church of England Guidelines 20th March 2020

https://www.churchofengland.org/more/media-centre/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-churches#na