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Baptism and Wedding Policy

We are glad that you are interested in a Church Wedding or Baptism (sometimes called a christening for a child).  We believe that God has an important part to play in the great occasions of people’s lives.

We aim to always be available to those who live in Papanui as we serve the local community.

Whilst we try to determine how best to serve those from outside the parish who request baptisms and weddings, as our church facilities are in high demand we cannot always respond positively to every request that is made.

The Baptism and Marriage Policy for the Parish of St Paul’s Papanui.

The Vestry of the Anglican Parish of Papanui confirm the below statements as policy for the parish until further notice.  Please note: All requests for Baptism and Weddings are at the vicar’s discretion.


  • Baptisms should routinely take place at a main Sunday morning service. (The regular 10 am service is the preferred service as it is the most family & visitor friendly).
  • Those seeking Baptism for themselves should show a commitment to the Christian faith on an ongoing basis through regular church attendance.
  • Parents and Godparents seeking baptism for their child are also encouraged to show a commitment to the Christian faith.
  • Baptism preparation will seek to develop a relationship between new families and the church.
  • We encourage baptism of children from outside the parish to take place at their local church if possible.


St Paul’s is a place of prayer, worship and joyful celebration of life; it is an ideal setting to begin married life with God’s blessing.  Being a place of Christian worship, it is a requirement that any marriage service held here will be a Christian-based service. It is normally expected that one of the parish clergy will officiate at the marriage service. At the discretion of the vicar, other licensed Anglican priests may officiate and other Christian ministers may lead part of the service. The Anglican Church holds to a definition of Christian marriage as being between one man and one woman, therefore same-gender marriage ceremonies cannot be held here.

You do not have to be a member of this church to be married here. But your sense of connection with this place, its people and with God will be enhanced by attending worship here before your wedding. Those living outside the parish will be encouraged to worship regularly at their local Church.

We are happy for those who regularly attend another Christian church to have their marriage service at St Paul’s. Confirmation from your current vicar/pastor/minister that he/she is willing for your wedding to take place at St Paul’s would be appreciated. At the discretion of the Vicar of St Paul’s, ministers of other denominations can share in leading a marriage service, but the officiating minister should normally be an Anglican priest or bishop.

All couples will be encouraged to participate in a marriage preparation course provided either by St Paul’s, another church, or another organisation offering such courses (whether in person or on-line).

Please note that for those seeking to be married who have been previously married the Minister of the parish is under a legal obligation to be satisfied that you can lawfully re-marry and therefore you will be asked to provide proof of dissolution of marriage.

If you would like further details on how to arrange a Baptism or a Wedding at St Paul’s please contact the church office: Ph. 03 352 9571.  We will be happy to send out our initial information letters or arrange for you to speak to the Vicar.