The Church of England is part of the world-wide family of Christians who see God as their Father and believe in Jesus, who in living – revealed what He is like. On his death he shared his spirit so his church have continued to do his work of building a kingdom of love, joy and peace. For more about our faith, please visit ‘What we Believe‘ and ‘Our Faith‘ webpages with its FAQs, faith stories and more.

As part of our journey with Christ we share in everyday prayer and services, along with special life events such as christenings, confirmation, and weddings.

At times of bereavement we also provide funeral services to pray for and give thanks for the life of our loved ones.

The following sections offer more information about these life events at St James, and St Francis.

Baptism (Christening)

Baptism is the start of a wonderful and amazing journey as part of the Christian family, and a very special day for all your friends and family too.

The service involves Baptism of your child with water, and there are fantastic web pages answering questions you might have, explaining everything that is involved, and preparations to consider. Check out the Carlisle Diocese page, and the Church of England “What is a Christening?” page for more answers.

You don’t need to be a baby to be Baptized, for example some people are not Baptized as an infant, and discover their faith when they are older. There are different forms of service for older children and adults, so please discuss with the vicar. Find out more about Adult Baptism (Church of England website).

The Church welcomes all who wish to join with them in the family of God.

Baptisms typically take place on the second week of the month at St Francis, and on the third week of the month at St James.

Parents will be invited to attend a preparation evening prior to the baptism of their child.

After an initial contact, a booking can be made once you have come along to one of our regular services.


Confirmation is a pivotal point in the life of a young person or adult, when they make their own commitment to following Jesus Christ. Previously at their baptism, promises were made on their behalf by their parents and godparents. Now they have grown in God to reach the point where their own faith is strong enough to declare and affirm their promises in front of, and with the support and prayers of their friends, family, and members of the church.

The bishop plays an important role in the confirmation, at which (typically) several people are confirmed in the same service.

When someone expresses an interest in getting confirmed, the vicar will identify when and where the next confirmation service will take place locally, and arrange for a few meetings to prepare for the confirmation, and explore the meaning of being a Christian. For adults being confirmed there needs to be a continuing engagement with the worshiping community.

More information is available on the Carlisle Diocese confirmations webpage, and Church of England confirmation FAQs webpage.


Church Weddings offer a couple the opportunity to marry in a spiritual and historic building where marriages have taken place for generations (since 1869-St James, 1955-St Francis). There are so many reasons why a church wedding can offer something unique and memorable on a couple’s special day. Take a look at “Why marry in church?” for more reasons why it can be right for you.

Churches are so much more than a wedding venue. Even if you married elsewhere, churches offer friendship, prayer and support before and after a wedding. Churches can also offer blessings for those married at civil ceremonies, and services for renewal of marriage vows – find out more .

Marriage involves making a serious and lifelong commitment to each other, as well as publicly making your wedding vows and celebrating your love with family and friends.

There are several important matters to discuss and prepare before any wedding, and the couple need to talk to the vicar (see contacts page) early enough to run through these and other considerations. The good news is that the church weddings are available for anyone in the community that meet the basic requirements, and couples do not need to be christened or regular churchgoers.

To complete your special day you will be able to choose your readings, music & hymns and you can arrange for the organ and choir. At St James there is also the option to have the church bells ring before and after the service to welcome your wedding guests, and celebrate after the couple have married while the photographs are taken in the church grounds.

The following weblinks offer advice and help with all manner of preparations for a wedding:


Bereavement can be one of life’s most difficult times for each of us at a very personal level. The funeral arrangements can be hard to manage at a time when you are trying to cope with our sense of loss and grief. It is at times like these that the church can offer comfort and understanding, and help ease the burden of the funeral arrangements with practical and sympathetic support, in conjunction with your funeral director.

If you would like the parish clergy to conduct the service at the Crematorium, you need to make this clear to your Funeral Director.

A funeral led by a member of the clergy will normally include readings, prayers, give thanks for the life, and commend the soul of the departed into God’s keeping. As part of the preparation for the funeral, the minister may visit you to learn more about the treasured memories of your loved one to share with those that attend the funeral, and what music, hymns, and prayers will be most appropriate. They can also adapt the service for special personal tributes.

All who have died within the parishes of St. James, or St Francis with St Matthew are entitled to a funeral service conducted by a minister from the North Barrow Team, regardless of whether they attended church or not.

The funeral service can be held in one of our churches, or in the chapel at Barrow Cemetery or Crematorium (Thorncliffe).

Whilst the organisation of a funeral is taken care of through a funeral director, please contact a member of the Clergy Team if you need to talk, and to make plans for the service.

The Church of England funeral webpage and step-by-step guide takes you through the stages of a funeral service and includes suggestions for appropriate hymns and prayers/readings.

Holy Communion

Holy Communion (also known as the Eucharist) is central to Christian worship all over the world. We remember Christ’s sacrifice and resurrection by sharing bread and wine that have been blessed by an ordained minister. Please read the excellent Church of England webpage devoted to the Eucharist.


Prayer is offered both when the people are together or as individuals when we metally stand before God and share our concerns and regrets and try to discern what he would have us do. Prayer profits from space so we need time which can either be filled with words or just allow God to dwell.

We all have people and situations we want to pray for. Perhaps someone in our family is unwell or anxious, someone has recently died or indeed you have a particular need at this time.

For those less familiar with prayer, you may find the webpage “Learning to Pray” a helpful introduction.

If you have anything or anyone you would like us to pray for, please let us know your prayer requests (contact us at the vicarage, or ask at church).

There is a paper written and available from the Carlisle Diocese about all kinds of different forms of prayer and is made available here…. it is called “What on earth is prayer all about?“.

Praise and Worship

Praise and worship of God is a fundamental part of going to church and taking part in our weekly church services. It is something we share and do together at these services, but we can also praise and worship God in the way we lead our lives beyond the church.

Please read “Going to Church” which explains a lot more about what Praise and Worship.