Baptism, Marriage and the Funeral Office are collectively known as the “Pastoral Offices”.
In the Blyth Valley, we operate an ‘Open Door’ policy. All who have a kernel of faith, however small or tentative they feel it is, are invited to avail themselves of the ministry of the Church. In an ideal world, we would hope that those who come for Baptism and Marriage would have an awareness of the Church’s teaching and go through a period of preparation.
However, we do not live in an ideal world: neither did Jesus. He accepted all who came to him and invited them to journey towards God’s kingdom. We seek to meet people where they are, because we believe that in the Pastoral Offices God’s grace is at work.
In God’s time, not ours, we believe that his radical acceptance of each human being, which is focussed in the Pastoral Offices, will draw those who participate into a close and living relationship with him and with his Church.
Baptism in water in the name of the Holy Trinity (God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit) is the means by which a person becomes a Christian and a member of the Church. In Baptism, he or she turns from sin (“falling short of the glory of God”) and turns towards the life and love of Jesus Christ in the company of others.
Church weddings are not just for currently active ‘church people’. We believe that church is the place to get married, rather than in an hotel or a hot air balloon! This is because the church building is God’s house, where for many hundreds of years couples have come to seal their love in his presence and in the presence of family and community.
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