Special Services

Outside Bradford Cathedral.

Jump to:

Baptism / Christening

Marriage

Healing Ministry at the Cathedral

Confirmation

 

Baptism / Christening

The service of baptism, also known by the old English name of christening (‘Christ-ing’), marks the beginning of a life lived as a disciple, following Jesus Christ as Lord, and belonging to the community of the Church.  Traditionally all babies were baptised; nowadays only some are, and increasing numbers of adults are coming for baptism for the first time - baptism is open to people of any age.

 

Many parents want a special moment to celebrate the amazing gift of a child, and baptism offers an opportunity to do that – but it is also a lot more than that. It means that you commit your child to follow Jesus Christ as a member of the Christian Church.  As it’s a serious service, it will involve some spiritual preparation beforehand. If you would like to undertake this, we would be delighted to discuss it further with you.  The Church does however also offer a service of Thanksgiving and Blessing for those who want to celebrate their family life and the gift of a child without making the serious commitments that baptism involves.

 

At the Cathedral, baptisms normally happen during the main morning service by agreement together.  There is no charge made for baptisms – membership of the Church is open to all.  However,  a realistic commitment is expected on behalf of a child, or by an adult, to become part of the church community, normally at the Cathedral.

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Marriage

We gladly welcome anyone and everyone to the Cathedral, whose primary purpose is to be a centre of Christian prayer and worship, open to all.

 

People come here to pray, to attend public worship and to visit this beautiful and historic building.

 

People also come to mark before God, through prayer and worship, particular events in their lives.

 

The Cathedral is glad to help with the celebration of the ‘solemnisation of matrimony’ (which includes legal registration of the marriage itself) and which is subject to civil and church law. 

 

The Cathedral offers a delightful and ancient venue for weddings in the heart of the city, with photogenic interior and grounds, and we are glad to welcome couples who want to begin a Christian marriage here.

 

However, although the rules on civil weddings have been relaxed, the law still sets out strict limits on eligibility for marriage in church.  The changes in 2008 that made it easier to get married in a particular church do not unfortunately apply to cathedrals.

 

If you live in the Cathedral Parish, and have not been married before, then you have an absolute right to be married at the Cathedral.

 

A note on the Church of England

Everyone in England lives in a parish which is served by a parish church. You normally have the right to baptism, wedding and funeral in the parish in which you are resident. The Cathedral is also a parish church: its parish covers much of the area inside the city centre ring road and, if you live there, then the Cathedral is your local church. If you live elsewhere then you need either to have some connection with the Cathedral already or to become a member of the congregation.  You will also need the goodwill of your local parish priest as well as meeting the legal requirements.

 

For more information on weddings in the Church of England please go here.

 

If you do not live in the Parish you will need to be able to show sufficient connection with it in one of two ways.

 

If you have been baptized or confirmed at the Cathedral or attended its worship regularly in the past for a sufficient period of time, then you may be eligible to obtain a Special Licence from the Archbishop of Canterbury allowing you to marry here.  This currently costs £180 and requires filling in a form of enquiry and swearing an affidavit.

 

If not, then you can acquire the right to be married by joining the Cathedral Electoral Roll, in other words, becoming a formal member of the Cathedral congregation.  To do this you and/or your fiancé(e) must have already been baptized and then attend worship at the Cathedral regularly for six months: you are then eligible to join the Electoral Roll.

 

‘Regularly’ (the actual word used in the law is ‘habitually’) means normally twice a month, unless reasonably prevented by illness or ‘other sufficient cause’.  Attendance does not have to be at the main 10.15am service, but could be at 8.00am, 4.00pm or 6.30pm services as appropriate.  This is a serious commitment, and you will need to show that you have done this in order to be legally qualified to marry at the Cathedral.

 

An alternative option?

An alternative option is for you to be legally married in the registry office and then have a service of celebration, prayer and dedication at the Cathedral, which does not have the same legal requirements.  Anyone can do this as long as the Cathedral Clergy agree that it is appropriate.

 

If one or both of you have already been married and divorced, then there is no legal right to be married in church, but there are circumstances in which it may be possible. In order to establish whether it is appropriate for you to have a Christian wedding at the Cathedral, you will both need to meet confidentially with one of the clergy over a period of time to talk through what happened in your past relationships, to identify what went wrong and what part you had in the breakdown of the relationship, and then to have a time of private confession to offer the past to God. You must therefore be willing to be honest in talking about difficult things, and able to believe that Jesus Christ comes to set you free from past wrongs and mistakes. You must also affirm that you have made appropriate provision for past partners and children, if this is relevant. We also have to reserve the right to decide during the process that we will in conscience be unable to proceed further. The reason we have this process is because we take you and your future marriage seriously, and will work and pray for you both to have a new start together; it is costly for us as well as you in time and energy (though we do not make a charge for it), and is for those who are serious about wanting to make a new start with God in married life.

 

Renewal of Vows

If you are already married, and would like renew the vows you made during your marriage ceremony, following discussion with Cathedral Clergy, a service may be arranged

 

How much will our wedding cost?

The cost of a wedding or blessing varies between £600 and £1500 depending on what is entailed and what ‘extras’ you require - such as the traditional sound of bells ringing out as you leave the Cathedral, or the Choir singing your chosen hymns and an anthem as you sign the registers after the wedding ceremony.

 

Although weddings normally happen on a Saturday afternoon, they can take place on any day between 8am and 6pm, depending on availability.

 

Contact Us

If you are interested in getting married in the Cathedral, or would like further information, please contact the Clergy Team through the Cathedral Office - full details are at the bottom of this page.

 

…and finally, a note on Confetti

The use of confetti, both within the Cathedral building and its grounds, is strictly prohibited as this is a Conservation Area and the dyes used stain the stone.  Rice is also prohibited as it does not decompose quickly and attracts vermin.

 

If you want to use confetti in the Cathedral grounds natural petals, which have not been dyed, are the only option.

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Healing Ministry at the Cathedral

The Christian healing ministry is not just about 'alleviating symptoms' but about getting to the root causes of illness and distress, about wholeness of body, mind, and spirit, and is a work of God. Nothing can separate us from the love of God, and when we pray for someone, we believe we are creating a space for God to work in their lives by the power of the Holy Spirit.

 

At Bradford Cathedral we offer prayer ministry at services of Choral Eucharist with Healing at 10.15am on the third Sunday of each month. Details of services appear in the Cathedral's weekly news sheet, and on this website.



There is also a Healing Prayer Group consisting of lay and ordained members of the congregation, led by Alex McLelland.  Group members meet together regularly for prayer and reflection, and an annual Awayday. A list of members of this group is on the Community noticeboard in the Cathedral.



The group's function is to pray for the healing and wholeness of members of the congregation or people known to them, because of illness or the need for spiritual support. They offer (in pairs) prayer and the ministry of Laying on of Hands at 10.15am services on the 3rd Sunday of each month, in private chapels at the East End of the Cathedral. People are welcome to come and ask for prayer for themselves or on behalf of someone else. There is no need to give any personal details when coming up for prayer, but if they are given, they will not be shared with anyone else.

 

Healing Prayer Group members are also happy to pray for members of the congregation in need at other times; please contact one of the Pastoral Care Team in person, or by phone or e-mail. Confidentiality is paramount at all times and e-requests are not discussed with others outside the group.


There is also a book of prayer requests available in the Cathedral, by the votive candle stand near the lectern. This book is taken up and placed on the altar during Sunday morning services and the contents are included in the prayers of the Cathedral community. Those unable to join us regularly for worship due to illness or infirmity are also remembered in the monthly Cathedral News.

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Confirmation Classes

 

Is this for you?

Confirmation classes begin at the end of February. These are a wonderful opportunity to explore more about the Christian faith, to revisit or refresh things you might have forgotten or to prepare for baptism or confirmation.

Topics for exploration include, who is God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit, sin and forgiveness, heaven and hell, Anglicanism, how to read the Bible and what are the sacraments.

If you are interested in being confirmed, fancy joining a group to as a refresher or would like to help facilitate then this is for you.

Here are some frequently asked questions and answers…

 

Q. What is the right age for confirmation?

There is no right age for a person to be confirmed. Anyone may be confirmed who has been baptized, if they are old enough to answer responsibly for themselves. In many dioceses, however, the diocesan bishop has set a minimum age for Confirmation. If this is the case your parish priest will be able to tell you what the minimum age is. As a general rule anyone who is over 10 years old and can answer for themselves could be ready for confirmation but the right time for you might be at any age.

 

Q. How can I tell if I am ready for confirmation?

Young people mature in their faith in different ways and at different ages. It is important that you come to Confirmation with firm personal conviction that it is right for you at this point in your life. You should pray about this and ask others in your church to pray for you. You should talk to your vicar and even if you are unsure about being confirmed you may wish to participate in the confirmation course to explore your faith further as you think about it.

 

Q. I was baptized as a child, why do I need to be confirmed?

If you were baptized as a child, in confirmation, you are confirming the promises your parents made on your behalf at your baptism about your commitment to a journey of faith. In confirming this faith you are becoming a member of the local and worldwide Christian family. In turn the Church will promise to support and pray for you.

In confirmation we recall the promises made at baptism, we are thanking God for his gift of life and publicly acknowledging his love. We are acknowledging that we all need to turn away from selfishness and evil and to accept God's offer of a new start.

 

Q. What happens after confirmation?

If you were prepared for confirmation with other candidates, your group may wish to continue journeying in faith together after Confirmation.

You might consider the course Get a Life amongst others as a resource for this. If you were prepared as an individual you might ask your vicar or whoever prepared you about house groups at your church or you may wish to explore Spiritual Direction.

 

Q. What if I wasn't baptized as a child?

If you were not baptized as a child and want to make a commitment of faith, you might consider adult baptism or you can be baptized and confirmed in the same service or baptized shortly before your confirmation. You should discuss this with your vicar.

 

Q. What does it cost?

A confirmation service is free, though there may be a small charge for a certificate. Ask your parish priest.

 

Q. What happens during confirmation classes?

The purpose of confirmation preparation is to ensure that those who are confirmed have a proper understanding of what it means to live as a disciple of Christ within the life of the Church of England. In The Book of Common Prayer it is envisaged that this preparation will take the form of learning by heart the Apostles Creed, the Ten Commandments, the Lord's Prayer, and The Book of Common Prayer Catechism.

 

Today preparation focuses less on learning by rote and more on enabling young people to live a life of committed discipleship in a world of multimedia and globalised culture. Sessions encourage candidates to grow in their Christian faith through prayer, reflection, studying the Bible, participating actively in the life of the church and demonstrating their faith in their communities.

 

For further information or to book your place on a group please contact Canon Mandy or one of the clergy team or email at info@bradfordcathedral.org.

 

The Diocesan confirmation service will be held with Bishop Nick Baines on Easter Eve 2019.

 

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