Pastoral Services

The Church of England operates on a geographical basis. Your local parish church has a responsibility for your pastoral care and as part of this offers the Pastoral Services outlined below: -

Baptism (Christening) is offered to anyone living within the parish of West Moors and who is looking for themselves or their child to be part of the Christian church here.  If you want to know more please contact Revd. Ruth Wells.  Parents will be encouraged to make some commitment towards church attendance (remembering that St Mary's School children and many parents ordinarily have close contact with the church).  We offer an informal preparation session, normally in your home.  Baptisms usually take place on Sundays at 12 Noon for a special private service or during the Parish Communion Service at 10.00 am.  Baptism can also be arranged for other times.  Click for our Information Leaflet and for a Baptism Application Form.  Baptism is free, donations to church funds are welcome.

We also offer a Service of thanksgiving and blessing after the birth of a child where parents are currently not ready to make the commitment of Baptism.  Again, please contact the Assistant Curate for further information Revd. Ruth Wells.  Click for our Information Leaflet.  Apply by telephone.


Confirmation Classes are for those wishing to explore the Christian faith in preparation for making a full adult commitment of faith in a Confirmation Service.  Classes of about twelve 90-minute sessions are led annually by our Vicar and are suitable for those aged 14-100!  We presently use 'Faith Confirmed: Preparing for Confirmation' by Peter Jackson and Chris Wright.  Click for the Revision Notes for the course produced by Revd. Andrew Rowland.  Candidates are confirmed by a Bishop, often at Salisbury Cathedral (as seen in this photograph from Christmas 2009) or at Wimborne Minster Church.  Adults are normally baptised and confirmed at the same time. 


Marriages  We are very pleased to provide you with the joy of a church wedding!  If either of the partners live in the parish you normally have a legal right to marry in our church.    Click here for the standard Marriage Application Form.   If you want to know more please contact Revd. Lynne Morris.  Click for our Wedding Planning Checklist and important local information which we ask you to read and take note.  Click for the Standard Text of the Wedding Service, use this abbreviated version for planning your Order of Service.  Click for the link to the Weddings Website of the National Church, which helps with planning, hymns, bible readings, etc.  You don't have to be Christened, wear white, or promise to obey...!  What you can have at St Mary's is a wonderful ceremony; a celebration that will be both fun and full of meaning.  We want to welcome, help and support you both on your big day.   If neither partner lives in West Moors there are new rules by which you may still qualify to marry here through historic, or family ties to the parish and/or joining the Electoral Roll for six months. Click for full information and the Legal Guidelines to Eligibility and Marriage Application Form.  Click for the Church of England rules on Marriage in Church after Divorce.

How much will it cost?  About 550 on average which includes the Administration and Booking, Calling of the Banns on three consecutive Sundays (see below), National Registration Fee, Rehearsal before the event and Ceremony on your big day!  An Organists Fee of 60 is also payable if required (Choir if available, is also extra).  Most of the Fee is set by Parliament. Click here for the national Table of Fees

Calling of Banns  Most couples get married in church after the calling of Banns, providing both are EEA nationals*.  Banns are called for three consecutive Sundays at the principle service within three months of the marriage date (not before).  There is a statutory charge of 30 for each parish church (and a further 14 for a certificate of completion) and normally must be pre-paid.  Banns must be called in the parishes where each of the couple are normally resident and also in the parish church where the marriage will take place (if that is in a different place).  It is customary and polite for the couple to attend church when their Banns are being called.  On the third Sunday a signed completion certificate should be collected from the vicar/church warden which must then be presented to the officiating priest at the parish where you are marrying (normally) several weeks before the wedding. If both of you live in West Moors and are getting married here, a certificate is not needed but Banns must be called.  If this process is not strictly adhered to the marriage becomes irregular unless a special marriage licence is obtained (at extra cost and necessitating the couple visiting a special solicitor appointed by the Diocese at Salisbury).  Please be careful to understand the process, because some couples are not and it can result in an unnecessary last minute panic!  Application for the Calling of Banns requires the full name of each partner and their respective addresses, name of parish church and also the place & church name where the marriage will happen if that is different.  Click here for the standard Banns Application Form. *Under the 2014 Immigration Act proof of nationality is now required. If either partner is of non-EEA origin a Superintendant Registrar's Certificate (SRC) must be obtained, Banns cannot be called. EEA nationals are all EC countries plus, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.


Funerals  are normally arranged through our local Funeral Directors.  We welcome funerals in the church, or our clergy will lead a service at Poole or Bournemouth Crematorium.  Funerals can also be conducted at the graveside, normally at our local Cemetery. Clergy can also be present at the burial of cremated remains.  We hold an annual Service of Remembrance at All Souls Tide (Sunday after 1st November) and invite the next of kin and family to join with us as we remember before God those that we love but see no more.  Fees, as appropriate are normally paid through the Funeral Directors. Click for the national Table of Fees.

Holy Eucharist  Receiving the consecrated (blessed) bread and wine at our Communion services is open to all baptised members of any church. Normally if children wish to receive Communion they will need to be prepared for this by attending a course and being formally admitted. If you do not wish to receive communion, please come up with everyone else for a blessing, carrying a service booklet that will indicate to the priest that you would prefer a blessing instead.

Visiting the sick and housebound  The Clergy and specially trained Lay Pastoral Assistants of the parish regularly visit the sick at home or in care homes/hospital. Please keep us informed.