The Bethany Baptist Church is a family church open to people of all ages and walks of life. As a Church we believe it is important to help children and adults alike to grow in both the discovery of faith, and in the experience of faith.
Getting married is one of the greatest steps we take in life and many people want to take that step in a traditional church building like ours. But is that all there is to it?
Can I get married in Church?
Following an initial interview this is almost always a possibility. We would want your wedding day to be a very special one, and more than that, we would want your married life to be happy and fulfilling and would want to do what we can to enable that to be so.
But before you decide to go ahead this leaflet will help you to think and discuss together what it is you are looking for. Please ask about anything’s you don’t understand – we can talk them through together.
Here are 3 questions:
1. You want a Church Wedding?
What exactly does that mean? Usually it means you want a wedding in the church building. It has a certain atmosphere and adds something to your wedding that a Registry Office can’t. The Bible teaches us that the church is not the building but the people who come week by week. If it’s a church wedding you want then you can only really have that by getting to know the people who are the church in that place.
2. You want a Christian Wedding?
So what makes a Christian wedding? Being in a church? Having a minister do the ceremony? Both partners being Christians? Making solemn promises before God? All of these reasons help to make a Christian wedding, especially the last.
Who is this God you are making solemn promises before? Do you know anything about Him? Can you be true to yourself and make promises before a God you don’t know, don’t have time for, don’t want to know?
Having a Christian wedding does not mean you need to become a Christian before getting married – but it does mean you are willing to think and explore what it means to be a Christian and take some time to find out about the God you’ll be making promises before.
3. You want a wonderful Marriage?
That goes without saying, but, of course, there is more to a wedding than the wedding day. It’s easy to get caught up with all the plans and preparations and forget that there is a marriage to follow. It’s no small step to make when two people, who are in love with each other, are about to spend the rest of their lives together. We want to make sure you’re ready for that too. It is very sad when sometimes couples split up years after becoming married, that those two people who pledged their lives to each other are now divorced. We do not want that to happen to anyone who gets married at Bethany, so we want to help you to prepare for married life by meeting to discuss various aspects of marriage and by being available as people wo support this new family that is being created.
What if I’ve been married before?
The unfortunate reality in our society is that too many marriages break down for all kinds of reasons. The Church struggles with this because people who once made promises before God have broken them. Whilst we do not condemn anyone who has been divorced, we also want to recognise that breaking solemn promises is a serious matter.
This fact alone means that we must give very careful consideration to anyone wanting to make the same promises for a second time.
Before any decision is made, we look at each situation on its own merit so that a carefully considered decision can be made.
So is Bethany right for you?
If this makes sense and you want to get married at Bethany, then we will ask you to come to Church on some Sundays so that you can get to know the Church you want to get married in. Then you will know more about the God you are making promises before, and what He has given marriage to us for. The Minister will meet with you on several occasions and may give you appropriate materials to look through about what a Christian believes about God and about marriage.
What do you need to do?
When you’ve decided you would like to be married at Bethany, please contact the Minister or one of the leadership team.