Wherever you are on your journey of faith – at the beginning and looking to be baptized or ‘Christened’, hoping to get married in church, or in need of God’s love at difficult times – this page has more information to point you in the right direction.
Baptism or ‘Christening’ is the beginning of our journey with God, a journey which continues throughout our lives. It is more than just a naming ceremony or a celebration of birth – it is the moment when we are freed from sin and reborn as a child of God, the moment when we become a member of the family of his church. If you are interested in exploring baptism, either for yourself or your child, please do drop into Church on a Sunday at 12 noon for more information.
The new life God gives us in baptism can easily become weakened and even lost by our sins, that is, those things which our consciences remind us we shouldn’t be doing. To remedy this, the church practises the sacrament of Penance, or Confession. Confessions are heard regularly in the parish on Wednesday evenings before mass, or by appointment with the Vicar. Whether you are a regular penitent or have never been to confession before, if you feel burdened by something and wish to seek God’s healing through the sacrament, please get in touch with us. Following the example of Jesus, the church has special concern for the sick, to whom we offer Anointing with holy oil. Through this sacrament, God heals us, by helping us bear the weight of our suffering. If you are sick or in hospital, or you know someone who is, and you or they would like to receive the sacrament of anointing, please contact the Vicar.
Confirmation follows on from baptism and is available for anyone aged ten upwards. It consists in the laying on of hands and anointing with holy oil by the Bishop. Confirmation completes what God began at our baptisms, by uniting us more firmly to Christ, increasing in us the gifts of God’s Holy Spirit, giving us a special grace of the Holy Spirit to be faithful witnesses to Christ, and increasing and deepening the grace which we received when we were baptized. If you are interested in confirmation for you or your child, or have a younger child who would be interested in receiving their first Holy Communion, please speak to the Vicar.
Marriage is a gift given by God that husband and wife may ‘comfort and help each other, living faithfully together in need and in plenty, in sorrow and in joy’. Whilst you can choose to marry in a lot of places these days, by making the choice to marry in church, you are asking God to bless your marriage that it might be life-giving and life-long. As well as being a religious ceremony, marriage is governed by law. The law requires at least one party to have some connection to the parish to marry at St Columba's. If you are interested in exploring whether you have a connection, and discovering what marriage in church entails, please see, this webpage, or contact the Vicar. Please note that as the church teaches that marriage is permanent, it is not possible to be married in our church if either party has been divorced.
Central to the Christian faith is the belief that Jesus Christ was raised to life on the first Easter morning, and that when we die, he invites us to share that life. This means that Christian funerals, conducted by a priest, are different to secular funerals: they are an opportunity to commend our loved ones to the care of God, that he might make them fit to enjoy the resurrected life. If you are looking after someone who is dying, please don’t hesitate to call the Vicar. As a priest, he will be able to help those who are dying prepare for their deaths, by offering the sacraments of confession, anointing, and Holy Communion as well as prayers to commend the soul to God. If your loved one has already died, a priest can still help by guiding you through all the difficult decisions you might have to make about what to do next, particularly concerning arrangements for the funeral. So once you have (or your chosen funeral director has) made contact with the priest, then he will arrange to visit you to discuss various options for the funeral. Although the funeral service is a beautiful way of commending our departed loved ones to the care of God, and helps us to pray for their souls, bereavement is a complicated process which can last a lot longer. Prayer can be a real source of strength in difficult times, and you are always welcome to come along to one of our churches to light a candle or sit in silence. St Columba’s is open most days during the week to enable you to offer your own prayers to God and sit and reflect in the silence of the building.