From the Rectory

Services

Frequently Asked Questions

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Your questions answered!

Please note that the churches of St Mary's and St Luke's are currently in an interregnum period, without an inbumbent priest. For enquiries about weddings/baptisms etc. please contact the webmaster in the first instance.

Can I get my baby Christened in your Church?

As long as you either live in one of our two Parishes (Chiddingstone or Chiddingstone Causeway) or have a family connection with the Chiddingstones, or have worshipped with us for at least six months – then yes, we would be delighted to baptize (Christen) your child.

In getting your baby Christened you are asking God’s blessing on your child’s life, and making them a member of the Church family. It's a time of thanksgiving and joy, but because Christening is something important in a child’s life, we take it seriously. Baptisms usually take place within the main Sunday service at 10am when we welcome the new child into the fellowship of the Church. The congregation will act as witnesses of the affirmation of the faith of the parents and godparents as the promise to nurture their child within the Church and its faith.


My child isn’t a baby any more. Can I still get them Christened?

It’s never too late! So long as you haven’t been Christened before, you can be Christened whether you are nine months or ninety years old. Obviously, the procedure differs in minor ways for a child or adult rather than a baby, but the principle - of entering joyfully into the family of the Church - remains the same.

Older children and adults who have already been baptized often take part in a Confirmation ceremony. As the name suggests, this is a way of formally confirming their Christian faith.


Can I get married in your church?

We would love it for you to get married here. In England, a man and women are legally entitled to get married in church in the parish in which they live, so if you (and/or your fiancé) live in Chiddingstone you can get married in St. Mary’s, or in St. Luke’s if you live in Chiddingstone Causeway. If you don’t live in the Chiddingstones, you may still apply to get married here.


I’d like to get married in Church, but I’m divorced. What can I do?

These days it is normally still possible to get married in Church even if one (or both) parties has been married before. Formal permission, however, needs to be granted by the Diocesan Bishop.

Alternatively, some couples prefer to have a Civil Marriage followed by a Service of Blessing of Marriage in Church.


I’d like to come to Church, but I’m not sure what to expect

You will be made most welcome! The first thing to do is check our calendar to see what services are taking place in the coming Sunday. Not all our services are the same – some are more for families while others are more ‘formal’.

If you are coming to Church for the first time, please introduce yourself to the Sidesmen (the people handing out the Orders of Service at the Church entrance) who will be happy to guide you through what to expect. We have tea and coffee after most Services, and this is also a good time to meet people.


What’s Holy Communion? Can I join in?

Communion is that part of the Church service where members of the congregation come to the altar (the front of the Church) to receive the bread and wine. This recalls the Last Supper that  Jesus shared with his disciples before his arrest and execution. It is important to most Christians as it expresses our appreciation of Christ’s presence with us and our membership of the worldwide Christian community.

In our Churches, anyone who has been baptized (whether in a Church of England Church or another Christian denomination) is invited to take Communion. If you would prefer not to take Communion, but would like to receive a blessing from the Priest, please keep you hands by your side during the administration of the sacrament.

Communion takes place every Sunday in one or other of our two Churches, but please note that not all our services include Communion. Please check the calendar, or follow us on Twitter, for details of forthcoming services.