Weddings, Baptisms and Funerals
People can be baptised (or “christened”, to use a traditional English word for the same thing) at any age. Here at St John’s Wood Church baptisms take place on a Sunday, usually at the main morning service (11am), but sometimes as a separate service at 12.15pm just after the Choral Eucharist. The clergy will visit to talk you through the service and its meaning beforehand.
What about godparents?
You will need to think carefully about choosing godparents. Godparents must be at least 16 years old, and must have been baptised themselves. Family members can be godparents (including parents being godparents for their own child), but it is often better to look outside the family circle. The minimum number of godparents is two; although there should normally be two godfathers and one godmother for a boy, and two godmothers and one godfather for a girl. It is possible for an unbaptised person to make a public promise at the service to support the child and its parents. In effect they can serve as a “godparent” without making the same (Christian) promises as a godparent. The choice of godparents is something the clergy will be glad to talk to you about.
Who can be baptised in St John’s Wood Church?
People being baptised here should live within the parish boundary or have a pastoral connection with this church. If you do live in another parish, it would be our normal practice to seek the “home” vicar’s goodwill before agreeing to do the baptism here. You can find out which is your home parish using the information at the bottom of the page.
With its beautiful building and fine music, St John’s Wood Church is a wonderful place to be married. However, couples (and vicars!) are not free to decide who gets married where.
Who can be married in St John’s Wood Church?
A couple can only be married in a particular church if one of them is resident within the parish boundary (see the bottom of the page to find your parish), or if one of them has a legally defined qualifying connection with it. The most common connections are;
- either of you was baptised here
- either of you has in the past lived within the parish
- either of you has been a regular worshipper here for six months or more
- the parents or grandparents of either of you were married here
If you work in an institution closely connected with the parish (like Lord’s, or the Wellington Hospital) it is likely that you would be granted a Special Licence to be married here, even if you don’t otherwise qualify. The clergy will happily talk the issues through with you.
People who have previously been married can have further marriages solemnised in church, but there is a further careful process to decide whether or not this would be the right thing. Do please contact us; we are more than happy to answer any queries you may have!
Does the Church have resources to help with wedding planning?
If you are looking for resources or guidance on planning a church wedding, the Church of England has a website specifically for this purpose.
Funerals and Memorial Services
St John’s Wood Church began its life as a funeral chapel for the parish of St Marylebone, and continues to be a beautiful and peaceful place in which to hold funeral and memorial services. In particular, the Church’s rich musical resources provide a wide range of options. There are no additional funeral fees to those payable in respect of a service at a Crematorium, other than music costs and memorial services can also be inexpensive. In general, anyone who is resident in the parish or who has a pastoral connection with it can have a funeral or memorial service in the Church.