The Sacrament of Holy Baptism—administered with water and “in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit”—is initiation into Christ’s Body the Church. The grace of Baptism is union with Jesus Christ and his Church, forgiveness of sins, and new life in the Holy Spirit. Adults who desire to receive the Sacrament of Baptism (and/or Confirmation) should talk to one of the clergy and they will help prepare you to receive the sacrament. Usually they will meet with you several times to make sure you're ready for this big step. The practice of baptizing infants and young children derives from the baptism of adults. The Church does not simply baptize any child, but those who are the children (or in the care) of at least one baptized Christian parent or guardian. The Church baptizes those who will grow up within the sphere of the Church. Usually at least one of the parents must be a baptized Christian who either lives in our parish, or attends S Giles regularly. Godparents must be baptized Christians, and are ideally active, mature, and faithful members of Christ's Church. Parents and godparents should be able to affirm in good faith the promises they will make on behalf of the child.
The first question a couple must answer is whether or not they desire a Christian marriage or simply a place in which to be married. There is a risk that the nature and purpose of Christian marriage can be lost when the church and the building are reduced to no more than a beautiful setting for a service. It is vital for couples planning to be married in the church to understand that Christian marriage assumes the centrality of Jesus Christ and our life of discipleship in his life and the life of his Church, both in the new relationship and throughout their life together. The marriage liturgy itself is the beginning of that remarkable journey. If you are seriously considering the implications involved in a Christian marriage, are willing to reflect deeply on these matters prior to marriage, and have determined that these can and will form your common life, you are welcome to talk to a member of the clergy about being married at S Giles. Please note that, according to law, at least one member of the couple must either live in the parish, be a regular member of the parish, or have a reasonable connection to S Giles (ie. perhaps you were baptised here as a child).
From the beginning of the Church’s life, Christian burial has been an important and integral part of the life of the parish community. The death and resurrection of Jesus Christ put an end to the power of death; thus followers of Jesus believe that death is but the entrance to new and eternal life with Him. We wait in joyful expectation for the resurrection of the dead. Accordingly, Christians show a proper reverence and respect for the body which awaits that resurrection. Christian burial is marked by three characteristics. First and foremost, it is an act of worship wherein we glorify God for the gift of eternal life offered in Jesus Christ our Lord. Second, it is a commitment of the one we love to the mercies of God in the faith that He will preserve in peace those who have died in the faith of Christ. Third, it is a time when members of the Body of Christ gather in the context of worship to comfort one another and to offer mutual assurance of God’s abiding love. The liturgy is an offering in which joy and sorrow are mixed, for while we say an earthly farewell, we know that the dead live in Christ. A Requiem Mass is most appropriate at the burial of a Christian, for in Holy Communion we “proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes” (1 Corinthians 11:26). To bury the dead is one of the Church’s seven corporal works of mercy; therefore at S Giles, the Burial Office or a Requiem Mass is available to anyone.