Baptisms, Weddings & Funerals
Who we are
We are a community of people of all ages exploring what it means to live the Christian life in a modern world. We firmly believe that the saving love of Jesus shows us a way that includes everyone.
Tewkesbury Abbey is a special place where the power of rich, ancient prayer and music of the Anglo-Catholic tradition of the Church of England is honoured and adapted. We are deeply committed to the beauty of holiness in which symbolic action, scripture and prayer – the liturgy – play an important part in our spiritual formation.
By engaging all our senses in worship, we find an inner stillness and spirituality that equips and encourages us to witness to the love of God in a fast moving world. The love of God draws us together, some in jeans and others in suits, and sends us out in compassionate service in God’s world.
Click here for more information about Anglican and Anglo-Catholic Spirituality.
When a new baby arrives families and friends want to celebrate. They and we want to join you in saying thank-you for the miracle of new life.
A Baptism Service, often called a Christening, caters for all this. It also includes promises about following Jesus as teacher and Lord, accepting him as saviour and discovering him as our friend. And it reminds us that all baptised people belong to the Church, the family of God.
A baptism is a very important occasion involving serious decisions. As parents, you have to say that you will help your child “walk in the way of Christ” and “take their place within the life and worship of Christ’s Church”. You will have to answer questions on your child’s behalf, stating that you have decided to turn away from everything which is evil or sinful and turn instead towards Christ. At the Abbey we are delighted that you wish to have your child baptised and we will stand alongside you and help you keep these promises.
Frequently Asked Questions
What if a teenager or adult wants to be baptised?
Great! The Vicar, the Revd Canon Paul Williams, will be pleased to talk to you about baptism combined with confirmation. It’s never too late!
I’d like to be baptised again because I don’t remember anything about my baptism as a baby.
You can only be baptised once but there are other ways, including special services, of renewing your commitment to Christ publicly.
How much does it cost?
Nothing. If you would like to make a donation, that’s up to you.
Godparents, how many can I have?
Usually there are three, two should be of the same sex as the child, but this is only a guideline. Godparents must themselves have been baptised.
If you wish to have your child baptised or have any further questions about Baptism please contact us where a member of staff will be pleased to deal with your query.
Marriage in Church
A marriage service, wherever it is held, is a public declaration of love and commitment to your partner. If you choose to get married in church there is an added dimension, the assurance that God cares about your relationship. Including God in your marriage doesn’t mean that you will avoid all the usual ups and downs, but you will know that you can look to God for help and guidance and that his love will sustain you.
The Abbey offers a Marriage Preparation Day annually. This helps couples prepare for the very important first few months of marriage. It provides an opportunity for meeting other couples who are being married here during this year.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I be married in the Abbey?
If either you or your partner is resident in the Abbey parish you are entitled to be married in the Abbey. If you do not meet this residency requirement it may still be possible to be married in the Abbey. Please call the Office for advice or click on this link http://www.yourchurchwedding.org
How do I book the Abbey?
As soon as you have decided you would like to be married in the Abbey get in touch with the Abbey Office. Staff there will be able to discuss with you dates and the availability of the choir, organist, bell-ringers and whether you want extra flowers for your wedding.
How much will it cost?
There are legal fees for a marriage which cover the publication of the banns, banns certificate (if necessary), the marriage service and a certificate of marriage. The fees are fixed centrally and revised annually and the office staff can advise you of the current fees.
What if one or both of us is divorced?
The Church of England teaches that marriage is for life but it recognises that sometimes marriages do fail. The Abbey accepts that, in certain circumstances, a divorced person may marry again in church during the lifetime of a former spouse. Please speak to the Vicar, the Revd Canon Paul Williams, for further information.
If you wish to be married in the Abbey or have any further questions about arranging a wedding here please contact us where a member of staff will be pleased to deal with your query.
A Funeral at Tewkesbury Abbey
‘Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.’
As well as being here for times of joy and celebration, the Abbey community also exists to give hope and comfort in more difficult and challenging times. The Abbey clergy regard the leading and arranging of funerals as a vitally important and privileged part of their ministry. We give a lot of time to visiting families, comforting those who are facing loss, finding out what service they want to use and helping them to arrange and personalise it. Many people do not realise that they have the right to a funeral in the Abbey as their parish church, even if they have not been regular churchgoers.
The funeral service is for friends and family to gather together, to express their grief, to give thanks for the life which has now completed its journey in this world and to commend their loved one into God’s keeping.
Whether the service will be ‘small’ or ‘large’ in numbers attending, the Abbey is able to provide whatever you may require – we can accommodate larger services in the nave, or smaller services in the Quire or in the Lady Chapel just behind the Milton Organ.
Arranging a funeral
Your undertaker plays an important part in the coordinating of the funeral arrangements. They will advise you on the fees for a funeral service in the Abbey, at a cemetery, or crematorium. Normally, your chosen undertaker will contact the Abbey on your behalf to arrange the time of the funeral and then a member of the clergy team will contact you to arrange a visit where the funeral service is discussed and planned.
We are, though, available directly at anytime to provide care and support before, during and after a bereavement on 01684 850959.
After a funeral
Grieving is a natural and important part of coming to terms with a loss and it may continue for several months or even years. If the clergy are asked, we will always try to help. Comfort is also to be found in the promises of Jesus Christ, in the hope of the Resurrection and in the belief that the beloved person is safe in the hands of God.
Once a year, in early November, we hold a service of thanksgiving and remembrance for anyone who has been to the Abbey for the funeral of a loved one in the past year. You will be invited personally to this service as an opportunity to gather together with members of the abbey community as well as others in a similar situation to your own.
For all funeral arrangements please contact us where a member of staff will be pleased to deal with your query.