St Mary the Virgin, Rowner Parish

Communication update regarding COVID-19

25th March 2020


The Church continues to be alive and active, but our buildings must close

We are seeing a huge increase in the number of people falling sick with COVID-19. We must distance ourselves from one another and prevent the spread of infection in order to save lives.

Therefore, as well as public worship being suspended, this and all church buildings in the Church of England are now closed.

Our worship of God and our care for each other continue but cannot be done in this building.

Our website contains details of how to join others online for prayer, worship, study, and community life.

The vicar/churchwardens of this church can be contacted in an emergency by telephoning:

Karen Mitchell (Area Dean) 07834 322943

Cathy Juniper (Churchwarden) 01329 313408 

Richard Evans (Churchwarden) 07766 903377


“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength . . . Love your neighbour as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.” 

To protect the vulnerable amongst us, please do not leave your home except for essential trips.

   Home      Weddings and Baptisms

Getting Married

Thank you for choosing Rowner Parish Church for your wedding service – Congratulations upon your engagement to each-other. Your Wedding Day is a very special day, and we will do all we can to make sure that the celebration is memorable and enjoyable, and relatively hassle-free. If you live in the Parish of Rowner, then we are your Parish Church, and for centuries the church has been involved in people’s important events. If you are not sure if you live in the Parish, then enquire either by telephone or email; or you can come and look at the Parish Map in the Porch of the church, which is normally open during the day (so you can come and see what the church looks like inside, if you do not know it; this will help in planning the service).

If you do not live in the Parish, you might have a Qualifying Connection with the parish which will enable you to be married here, you must meet with the Rector to discuss this. It will be your responsibility to provide the documentary evidence of connection (produce appropriate certificates of residence, marriage, christening or burial).

By choosing to get married in church, you are showing, and we are assuming, that you want to do it in the sight of God, in the House of God, and by a priest of God. The vows that you will take are solemn and important, and we will help you to understand them. Everyone who lives in the Parish is entitled to be married in the church, and we never turn anyone away, but you will want, we are sure, to become involved in the life of the church, in order that you can fully appreciate the commitment you are making. This is an important part of your preparation. You will be surrounded in the church by many other couples who have been married here, some recently, and some for a very long time. Get to know them, and talk to them about their relationship.

If you have been married once before, and your previous spouse is still alive, then it is possible for you to be married for a second time in church, and you should arrange to see the Rector before deciding arrangements, to ensure that this is possible.

If you do not live in the Parish, but have a genuine link with the church, or have been regular worshippers with us for a minimum of six months, then it is possible for the ceremony to take place here. Again, speak to the Rector first, to ensure that you are aware of the commitment that is necessary before finalising your arrangements.

Obviously there is a cost to getting married, even in church, so please look at the Fees table which is attached. There are basic costs which you will need to incur; there are added extras as well. It may be possible for you to choose your own special music for the service, but this is at the discretion of the Rector. If you are going to have hymns at your Service, the organist will accompany them. It is not possible to use CDs or tapes to do that, or for any any other recorded organ music. If you have any queries, please speak to the Rector, or his Secretary.

For a smaller ceremony, with up to 24 guests, it may be possible to use the Old section of the Church. Viewing is restricted for the congregation because of the pillars, so please bear this in mind. Again, please speak to the Rector about this first.

So, please come and see us to arrange dates and find out more details. You can fix a time to see the Rector by telephone or email.


The tradition of Christian Baptism (or Christening) is as old as the Church, and is the First of the 'Sacraments' (signs of Christ's love for us). In emergency, anyone can baptise someone, but you have chosen to enquire about a priest baptising you, or your child or children, The rite of Baptism is important, as it involves you in making solemn Promises in Church, which you should take seriously. We will prepare you for Baptism service, and talk through the promise with you, so that you can understand their meaning and their importance.

Baptism is the beginning of the Christian journey of faith, and we trust that God will strengthen you in that journey. Obviously you as a family have to agree to a baptism taking place, as well as agree how the baptised’s Christian journey will take shape. We, as a church locally, will help you and nurture you on the way, but, at the end of the day, the prime responsibility for that is yours. To help you understand this, the opening words of the service put it beautifully:

The Church receives these children with joy. Today we are trusting God for their growth in faith. Will you pray for them, draw them by your example into the community of faith and walk with them in the way of Christ?
In baptism these children begin their journey in faith. You speak for them today. Will you care for them, and help them to take their place within the life and worship of Christ’s Church?

To those questions, parents and godparents are invited to respond:

With the help of God, we will.

To ensure that you understand this level of commitment and are willing to make these promises clearly and with true feeling, we invite you to worship with us as you lead up to the service of Baptism, and to continue in this pattern after the big day. You will promise to pray with them, worship with them, and encourage them towards the next sacrament, which is the receiving of Holy Communion.

When will the Service take place?

We normally have services twice a month, and you should enquire about available dates in a few months’ time. The time of the service is 12 noon on a Sunday.

Who needs to be Baptised?

Obviously, if you are going to be making baptismal promises on behalf of your child, then you need to have been baptised yourself. If you have not, please arrange with the Rector to be baptised, either at the same service, or separately, if you would rather. The same goes for Godparents (and you can have up to 4 for each child being baptised).

What do I do next?

First, come to church on a Sunday to enjoy and participate in the worship (our main Service is at 10am). You can then enquire about Baptism, and ask questions. You will be given a form to bring back with you the next time you attend the Sunday service, when a firm date will be made for the baptism.

We look forward to meeting you and sharing in your celebration!


Click on the Link
below to join us in
Church of St Mary the Virgin, Rowner Lane, Gosport, Hampshire. PO13 9SU 
Telephone: 02392 528 111 Email:

St Mary the Virgin Parochial Church Council is a Charity registered in England No. 1134344