1. What is the purpose of baptism? Baptism is the sacrament with which we are plunged into the life-giving water, and symbolically die and rise again to new life the life of Christ and his resurrection. Baptism is the occasion when we become a part of the family of God it is our re-birth in Christ. We also become brothers and sisters of those who are part of the community of which is described as the Body of Christ. Like any child born into the family, we need to be given nurturing food and trained in our new life. 2. Can a person be baptized at any age? Yes. Infancy has long been the most familiar time for Anglican Baptisms, but recently we have had a couple of adult baptisms. Baptism at any age is appropriate. Someone said, and it makes sense, that we Anglicans don't advocate as preferable adult baptisms, or infant baptisms, but rather people baptisms. 3. How many Godparents should be given to a child? The traditional number of Godparents is 2 of the same gender as the Baptismal candidate, and 1 of the opposite gender, but much less stress is put on this than in the past. Today, we work hard to see that the baptismal candidate is made aware of the importance of growing up in the church, and really that means that the whole family and specifically the parents are give careful instruction both pre-baptism and as the person grows.
1. What is Confirmation? Confirmation is the celebration of Christian maturity in our life in Christ. At this stage, the candidate takes on herself or himself the vows that were made in the Baptism, which are renewed at the Confirmation service. The Symbol of Confirmation is the Bishop laying his or her hands on the head of the candidate and calling the Holy Spirit to continue working in the lives of the candidates, empowering them for ministry. Unlike the way it has been so often presented, Confirmation is a renewal of the vows of baptism, which is now understood as the most important sacrament.
2. At what age should a person be confirmed? A person can be confirmed at any age whenever they are ready to proclaim their faith in God to the Church family. There are a lot of changes in the preferred time because of the more frequent baptism of adults. In fact baptism and confirmation are held together for an adult candidate. 3. I am not confirmed but I am baptized. Can I present myself to receive Holy Communion? See the above answer. Baptism is our new birth celebration, and Confirmation merely reinforces the new life given in baptism. The church generally has accepted that the old way, i.e. delay communion until after confirmation, is totally unjustifiable. If you are baptised and in any church you are welcome to receive communion at our altar.
Weddings 1. My fiancée and I are not Anglicans. Can we be married in an Anglican church and how should we prepare for our marriage ceremony? We would be delighted to welcome you. People asking to be married in an Anglican Church must fulfil the legal qualifications, and be able fill out the Marriage license. This includes living in the Parish or having some connection, however tenuous, with the Parish; It’s best to discuss this with Fr Michael. And one of you must be a baptised Christian.
2. If we got married at an Anglican church, would we be encouraged to baptise our children in the church? We do not make conditions. Marriage is placed in the context of a life directed to living the love of Christ in our relationships or liturgically, living out the death and resurrection of Christ. This would imply that the family, thus established, ought to want to have their children baptised in the church entering into the mystery of Christ's love for us, which is also the focus of the specific love we celebrate in marriage.
3. Is there a financial cost for the performance of the marriage ceremony and the use of the church organist? Yes. There is a lot of time put into the process, you will be required to pay the statutory fees and if you require our amazing organist or fabulous choir there are additional charges, as well as making a donation to the church in Thanksgiving. An important overriding consideration is that no one is asked to give more than they can afford. In other words, there is flexibility.
Funerals What’s involved in holding a funeral at St Cyprian’s? When a loved one dies the first thing is to contact a funeral director. Fr Michael can advise you about this. Then we can begin shaping a service to suit you. It can be very simple or as well as a funeral be a celebration of the deceased’s life. If you feel overwhelmed by the whole thing telephone to Fr Michael on 0203 536 6357 and talk it over.
2. Does the Anglican Church conduct the funeral of non-Anglicans? We will conduct a funeral for anyone! I have frequently conducted the funeral for a non-Anglican. I normally spend some time with the family to ascertain if there are any serious problems for which I might be of assistance. The focus is on pastoral care, not on legality. If people approach me, I try to be available, we will attempt to follow your wishes as best we can.
Pastoral Help 1. I am not an Anglican. I am having some emotional and moral challenges in my life. Can an ordained priest of the Anglican Church counsel me? I think most Anglican clergy try to be available to counsel someone in need. I know I do. But if I were not suitable for some reason, I would see my role as referral to someone who can help. The Marylebone Healing Centre is just down the road from us.
2. Sometimes I would like to ask a church group to pray for me. Can you explain how this is done at St. Cyprian's? This is what we are about! You should be able to contact the clergy and know that you will be prayed for. I would ask for clarification as to whether you want to be prayed for in church and a request should be all that is needed. Or if you want the Priest's prayers without a name mentioned in church, that's OK as well.
Donations 1. I would like to make a bequest to St. Cyprian's. Can you explain the process and benefits of my action? I think this is as individual as the person making the donation. I think a solicitor would be the best advisor for this, but I and/or the wardens would be pleased to discuss the issues with you.
Children 1. My children ages 3-10 years would like to accompany me to church. Does St. Cyprian's provide childcare? We do not provide a creche or child care but we are looking at ways to get children involved. I believe that a three year old can learn and experience God's love, but it has to be tailored to their age level. Our goal is to have Christian Education for all ages of children. There's a separate Children’s Church during the main service, please see our website