A new birth in the family? An anniversary to be remembered? Joy over two people’s commitment in love? Coping with loss and finality?
For centuries people have gone to their local church, or revisited churches that have been important to them in the past, in order to mark and give thanks for new life, to celebrate love and achievements, and to mourn the passing of loved ones.
At St Giles we welcome enquiries from local families, community groups and organisations, or from friends and members of our congregation near and far, to make use of the pastoral offices of the Church. In this way what is most personal and communal to us can be held up to God, and comfort and strength can be found.
We hope these notes will guide you through the initial stages of any enquiry you wish to make, but please call us directly if they are not clear or if you are ready to take them further.
Baptism – the moment when a person commits themselves to the way of Christ and is spiritually renewed – is recorded in the four biblical gospels and quickly entered the very earliest traditions of the Church. The custom that emerged within the Church of England, and that continues today, is for infants and young children to be presented by their parents for baptism, accompanied by (usually) three chosen godparents. In this case the adults involved make the commitment of faith on behalf of their child and, speak, as it were, for them.
But baptism is certainly not confined to the young, and adults have also been baptised at St Giles in recent years. We welcome all enquirers, whatever their age or whether they live within the parish or not. Sometimes baptism takes place during the main 11am Sunday service, but other times can also be found if thought appropriate.
A modern language form of the service can be found on the Church of England website. The order of service we use at St Giles is modelled on this but uses more traditional language. We would always expect to meet with, and prepare, candidates and their families.
To make arrangements for a baptism please speak to one of the clergy, call 0207 240 2532, or use the email form below.
The ceremonies of marriage probably need little introduction as they are commonly portrayed in film and on television, and most people at some time or another will attend the marriage service of a friend or family member. Seeking a wedding service for yourself, however, is different and will require a good deal of planning and preparation. We would be happy to work with you and all those involved should you wish to come to St Giles.
Unlike baptism a wedding service has a legal dimension because the registers of marriage are signed during the service. In this case the priest acts on behalf of the local authority registrar. This means that one or both of an intending couple will need to eligible to marry in our church. The quickest way of checking this is to visit the Your Church Wedding website, where you will find the full list of criteria of eligibility. We recommend that you make contact with us at this early stage to ensure that the legal requirements are met and that the date you have in mind is available.
Once this has been done one of our priests and our verger will work with you over one or two sessions to prepare the arrangements with you, work out the running order and content of service and also to share their understanding of marriage within the Christian tradition. We can provide an experienced organist to play for your service, up to four professional singers if you wish to augment the singing, and the services of our verger on the day to make sure everything runs smoothly.
There are set fees for weddings in the Church of England. Again you can find out what these are in advance by visiting the Church of England website. In addition there will be fees for musicians and for the verger, though these are fairly standard across all our London churches.
We look forward to hearing from anyone who may wish to explore the possibility of celebrating their wedding at St Giles.
Funerals and Memorial Services
The memorials of those from the parish of St Giles who have gone before us fill the walls of our Church and the boundaries of our churchyard. Inevitably the need to mark the ending of life with dignity and respect, and to commend our loved ones to God, will arise and we are more than happy to receive requests for such pastoral services and to work with you.
Funeral services can be held at St Giles in the weeks following someone’s death. These serve to bring close family, friends and colleagues together at a time of poignant loss and farewell, and are then followed by committal at a crematorium or burial ground, as arranged by the chosen funeral director. In addition, memorial services can also be arranged at some later stage, (where a funeral has taken place elsewhere previously), when, perhaps, a wider circle of friends and acquaintances can be drawn together from further afield. These can be particularly appropriate for someone who has been active in public life, whether within the central London community or in some professional capacity.
In either case we can offer families and colleagues experienced personnel to guide you through the arrangements for such pastoral offices, and also to provide counsel and support. As with weddings, we can provide whatever musical resources you may require for such an event. You have only to get in touch and ask us. Some families choose to do this through a funeral director in the first instance, which is fine, though we would always ask you to make contact with us as soon as you can, once you are clear you would like to come to St Giles. That way we can place you on our church calendar, though in general we will always rearrange regular events to give priority for such a service.
In addition to the services of our experience Director of Music and organist, the professional singers of the St Giles Quartet can also be provided, on request, to lead singing at funerals.
If you would like us to conduct a funeral or memorial service for a loved one at St Giles please call 0207 240 2532, or use the email form below.
Please enter the details of your inquiry below. We would be grateful if you could provide an telephone number so that we can call you back.