Weddings, Baptisms and Blessings
Congratulations! If you have looked for this information it means that you are intending to celebrate a very important event in your lives. We would love to help you with this very special service that you are planning.
Ministers in the Church of Scotland are authorised to conduct marriage ceremonies. The Church does not regard marriage as a sacrament and ministers are therefore free to marry people who are not members of the Church of Scotland. However, if neither the bride nor the groom is a member of the Church, then their first approach should be to the minister of the parish in which either one of them resides.
If you would like to celebrate your wedding at Fossoway Church please contact the Minister, the Rev Lis Stenhouse by email (the address is on the contacts page) or by phone the number is on the ‘Home’ page). She will be able to discuss all the details with you and book that very important date. Once your date has been booked, Lis will arrange two further meetings with you and a wedding rehearsal that will usually take place in the week before your wedding.
Please note that in addition to booking the wedding with the Minister you will also need to register the wedding at the local Register Office. You will need to make an appointment to see the Registrar at least eight weeks before your planned wedding date and even earlier if you have been married before or if you are not an EU resident. You will need to take your birth certificate and any other relevant documentation (e.g. divorce certificate) with you to this meeting, the registrar will be able to help and advise you about this.
The Registrar will issue a Marriage Schedule in the week prior to your wedding. The Marriage Schedule will need to be taken to your wedding rehearsal so that it is available on the day of your wedding.
PLEASE NOTE – the Minister is not legally allowed to conduct a wedding service if the Marriage Schedule is not available to sign on the day of the wedding.
The following link will take you to the General Register Office for Scotland and offers more information about a marriage schedule:
We advise that no photographs can be taken by guests during the wedding ceremony however, the Wedding Photographer will be able to take photographs with the prior agreement of the Minister.
We advise that no videos of the wedding ceremony may be taken unless you have a relevant license to do so.
The Minister can arrange for an organist to play at your wedding ceremony but it is also possible to make arrangements for your own organist to play. Please discuss this and any hymns, music etc with the Minister.
The church does not provide flowers for your wedding ceremony, however, we can make arrangements for access for you, or your florist, to decorate the church.
There will be fees that will need to be paid which cover such things as: heating, lighting, organist, church officer, cleaner etc. Please ask the Minister for the current fees that will be required.
If you have any difficulty in meeting the costs of the church fees please discuss this with the Minister as this may not, necessarily, prevent your wedding from going ahead.
Baptisms and Blessings
Baptism is one of the two sacraments recognized by the Church of Scotland, the other being the Sacrament of Holy Communion. In the baptismal service of a child those adults responsible for the care of the child profess their own faith and promise to give the child a Christian upbringing. In the case of an adult baptism the person himself or herself makes the appropriate promises.
Baptism is normally administered during Sunday worship in front of the congregation. This emphasises the nature of the sacrament as incorporation into the body of Christ and the life of the Church.
The Thanksgiving and Blessing of a Child
Since 2003, the Church of Scotland has provided orders for the thanksgiving for, and blessing of a child. The blessing ceremony takes place at morning worship following the same pattern as that for Baptism except the wording and promises are different and no water is used. Nothing is required of the parents/carers of the child in either commitment or belief.
Those wishing to give thought to whether a baptism or a blessing is most appropriate for their child should contact the Minister, who will discuss with them the wording, responsibilities and commitment involved.
Through its parish system and territorial ministry the Church of Scotland seeks to serve all the people of Scotland and not just the membership of the Church. Anybody who is in the sad situation of having been bereaved can seek the services of their parish minister, either directly or through the undertaker.