Special Occasions

Find our more about how we can help with your Wedding, Baptism, Memorial or Confirmation



“There is no more lovely, friendly, and charming relationship, communion or company than a good marriage.”
[Martin Luther]

It is always a privilege for us as a church to be a part of your wedding day. We hope that this page will help you to navigate the ceremony, as well as the legal requirements involved.  It also outlines some important considerations for you if you are choosing a church wedding (as opposed to going to Home Affairs or using a marriage official from another faith).

Our view of Marriage

Christian marriage, as recognised by St Francis United Church, is the affirmation before God, and the community, of a committed relationship between a man and a woman who join together in love and seek mutual growth and unity in that love. In the context of our church, and its ministers, the marriage ceremony is performed according to Christian rites. Although there is flexibility around the order of the service, as well as the inclusion of items that are special to the couple, we cannot provide you with a secular service or one that is at odds with our Biblically-rooted Christian faith.

The Marriage Service

The marriage service is where the couple takes vows before God to commit themselves to a lifelong relationship. The service normally takes place in the church in the presence of family members and friends. The service is led by the minister and includes a statement of Christian marriage, readings from scripture, and a sermon, after which follow the wedding vows and prayers. The service concludes with the blessing of the marriage (or, if requested, may continue with Holy Communion). All of this is done in accordance with the oversight church’s rules, as well as the laws of the country as promulgated in the Marriage Act 25 of 1961. In other words, the marriage is recognised by the State as well as by the church.

Family members often take part in the service by reading scripture or leading the prayers of intercession. The service includes the public signing of the church and civil marriage registers by the couple, two witnesses, and the Marriage Officer.
Selection of music and readings and any desired changes to the service are made in consultation with the officiating minister.

Requirements For Marriage In the Church

There are legal requirements that must be met for the marriage to go ahead. These are stipulated by the Department of Home Affairs. It is essential that you contact the church/minister as soon as possible, because the process can be laborious and protracted. You will need to provide the minister with the correct documentation prior to the ceremony taking place.  These requirements differ according to age, nationality and marital status, amongst other things. Your minister will be able to assist with this.

It is important for the couple to prepare well for the marriage (and not just for the wedding day). The ministers have been well trained to provide up to date and useful marriage preparation, and this will be discussed with you.

Arranging a Marriage Service

The first step in moving toward marriage is to contact the church office  – 042 294 1943 (Tues-Thurs 09h00 to 12h00) or [email protected]  to arrange for an interview with our minister. It is best to arrange this meeting at least three months in advance of the desired date of the wedding service.


At St Francis United Church we practice both adult and child baptism (also known as ‘Christening’).

Baptism is the way in which the church receives people into the family of God to live life in a new way and with new meaning. At the time of baptism, the person is making a commitment to follow Jesus Christ and will be formally received as a full member of the church, promising to support the work of the local church through gifts of time, talents, and financial resources.

In the case of children who are too young to profess the faith, parents and appointed God-parents make the vows on the child’s behalf.  They also vow to bring the child up in the faith.  It is significant that the vows are made to God, in the presence of the church community.   This underscores that a baptism is not only a personal or family occasion, but it is also a community event.

Baptism candidates, or in the case of children, parents, will be required to undergo baptism preparation.

If parents are not ready to make baptismal promises or wish to defer baptism until the child is able to make his or her own decision, the church also offers a service of Thanksgiving for the Gift of a Child. This service provides an opportunity for a family to give thanks for the birth of a child and to pray for God’s help in the child’s care and nurture. This service can be conducted by an ordained or lay minister and may be done in the parent’s home or other suitable venue.

When does Baptism take place?

Because baptism is the indication of acceptance into the church community, the witness and welcome of the congregation is an essential part of the service. For this reason baptism is usually administered on a Sunday, when the congregation is assembled for worship. This allows members of the congregation to commit themselves to support and care for the newly baptised persons and to help them grow in faith. Remember, it is a church community event too.

Please contact the office if you would like to arrange a baptism.


Confirmations are performed when a Bishop or authorised clergyperson from one of our oversight churches visits for this purpose. At confirmation, the baptismal promises are re-affirmed personally by the candidate. People wishing to make this special faith commitment are required to attend confirmation classes and/or mentorship. Please contact the office or one of our ministers if you would like to be confirmed.

Funerals and Memorials

The loss of a loved one can be a very traumatic time. Our role as a church is to provide support to loved ones as they enter and navigate their grief.   We have trained ministers and carers who provide practical support, as well as counsel where necessary. We aim to make this time easier for families and loved ones.  Our ministers will assist with funeral or memorial service arrangements where required.  These services are not only done for families or deceased persons who are members of the church, so please feel free to call the office (042 294 1943 – Tuesdays, Wednesdays or Thursdays 09h00-13h00) to set up an appointment with the minister.