Life Events

Weddings, baptisms and funerals

Baptism / Christening

The service of baptism, also known by the old English name of christening (‘Christ-ing’), marks the beginning of a life lived as a disciple, following Jesus Christ as Lord, becoming more like him and belonging to the community of the Church. Traditionally all babies were baptised; nowadays only some are, and increasing numbers of adults are coming for baptism for the first time – baptism is open to people of any age.

Many parents want a special moment to celebrate the amazing gift of a child, and baptism offers an opportunity to do that – but it is also a lot more than that. It means that you commit your child to follow Jesus Christ as a member of the Christian Church. As it’s a serious service where significant, lifelong commitments made, it will involve some spiritual preparation beforehand. The Church does however also offer a service of Thanksgiving and Blessing for those who want to celebrate their family life and the gift of a child without making the serious commitments that baptism involves. 

To find out more about baptisms, please visit the Church of England website or come along to one of our main services at 10.30am on a Sunday and talk to one of the clergy about the first steps.

At the Cathedral, baptisms normally happen during the main morning service by agreement together. There is no charge made for baptisms – membership of the Church is open to all. However, a realistic commitment is expected on behalf of a child, or by an adult, to become part of the church community, normally at the Cathedral.


Confirmation is a special church service in which a person confirms the promises that were made when they were baptized. If you were baptized/christened when you were a child, your parents and godparents made these promises on your behalf. As a young person or adult, you may be ready to affirm these promises for yourself and commit your life to following Jesus Christ. At a confirmation service, you make these promises for yourself. Your friends and family as well as the local Christian community will be there to promise to support and pray for you. The local bishop will lay their hands on your head and ask God’s Holy Spirit to give you the strength and commitment to live God’s way for the rest of your life.

To find out more about confirmations, please visit the Church of England website or come along to one of our main services at 10.30am on a Sunday and talk to one of the clergy about the next steps.


If you have recently got engaged and are exploring getting married at the Cathedral; congratulations! We would love to help celebrate with you on your wedding day and conduct, what is grandly called, the ‘solemnisation of matrimony’ (which includes legal registration of the marriage itself). The Cathedral offers a delightful and ancient venue for weddings in the heart of the city, with photogenic interior and grounds, and we are glad to welcome couples who want to begin a Christian marriage here. However, the law still sets out strict limits on eligibility for marriage in church and cathedrals such as ours.

If you are unsure whether you are eligible or not, then a discussion with one of the clergy may be helpful. They will ask a series of questions, such as, ‘Do you live within the Cathedral’s parish?’, ‘Have you been married before?’ and/or ‘Are you a UK citizen?’. If we are unable to legally conduct your wedding there are alternative options (see below) which can be discussed with the clergy.

To find out more about weddings, please visit the Church of England website or come along to one of our main services at 10.30am on a Sunday and talk to one of the clergy about the next steps.

An alternative option?

An alternative option is for you to be legally married in the registry office and then have a service of celebration, prayer and dedication at the Cathedral, which does not have the same legal requirements.  Anyone can do this as long as the Cathedral Clergy agree that it is appropriate.

If one or both of you have already been married and divorced, then there is no legal right to be married in church, but there are circumstances in which it may be possible. In order to establish whether it is appropriate for you to have a Christian wedding at the Cathedral, you will both need to meet confidentially with one of the clergy over a period of time to talk through what happened in your past relationships, to identify what went wrong and what part you had in the breakdown of the relationship, and then to have a time of private confession to offer the past to God. You must therefore be willing to be honest in talking about difficult things, and able to believe that Jesus Christ comes to set you free from past wrongs and mistakes. You must also affirm that you have made appropriate provision for past partners and children, if this is relevant. We also have to reserve the right to decide during the process that we will in conscience be unable to proceed further. The reason we have this process is because we take you and your future marriage seriously, and will work and pray for you both to have a new start together; it is costly for us as well as you in time and energy (though we do not make a charge for it), and is for those who are serious about wanting to make a new start with God in married life.

Renewal of Vows

If you are already married, and would like to renew the vows you made during your marriage ceremony, following discussion with Cathedral Clergy, a service may be arranged 

How much will our wedding cost?

The cost of a wedding or blessing varies between £650 and £1500 depending on what is entailed and what ‘extras’ you require – such as the traditional sound of bells ringing out as you leave the Cathedral, or the Choir singing your chosen hymns or an anthem.

Although weddings normally happen on a Saturday afternoon, they can take place on any day between 8am and 6pm, depending on availability.

If you are already married, and would like renew the vows you made during your marriage ceremony, following discussion with Cathedral Clergy, a service may be arranged.

Contact Us

If you are interested in getting married in the Cathedral, or would like further information, please contact the Clergy Team through the Cathedral Office.

…and finally, a note on Confetti

The use of confetti, both within the Cathedral building and its grounds, is strictly prohibited as this is a Conservation Area and the dyes used stain the stone.  Rice is also prohibited as it does not decompose quickly and attracts vermin.


If you want to use confetti in the Cathedral grounds natural petals, which have not been dyed, are the only option.


A funeral is a chance for family and friends of those who have died to say goodbye and to entrust their loved one into the hands of God. It is an important moment in the journey of grief. Although the services are understandably a sad occasion, a funeral can also be a time of great celebration of the life that has been and the hope of the life to come.

Whether at the Cathedral or a crematorium chapel, the service can be the plain funeral service from the Common Worship with the addition of hymns, favourite prayers and readings, and one or more tributes. It can be catered and shaped to express what is wanted by the family. The service can also be set in the context of a service of Holy Communion.

For suggested material and help with arranging a funeral, please visit the Church of England website. Please do request us with your Funeral Director who will be able to liaise with us. Please note that, as a cathedral church, we have to be selective to the amount of funerals we are able to offer.

We are unable to provide a printed Order of Service but, as part of our service, we will guide and assist you in creating the content and liaise with a Funeral Director on making one for you.

At the end of the service we ask that half of any collection taken is donated to the ongoing work of the Cathedral.

Bereavement Support

People who have lost someone close to them are often so busy with practical details and arrangements between the death and the funeral that they do not experience the full sense of their loss until later.

Grieving is a natural and important part of coming to terms with and healing this loss, and it may continue for several months. One often finds it is those who have suffered a close bereavement themselves, clergy or lay people, who can most easily offer comfort and support to those who mourn.

Comfort is also to be found in the promises of Jesus Christ, in the hope of the Resurrection and in the belief that the beloved person is safe in the hands of God.

If you are bereaved, find help all in one place at, the UK’s signposting website for bereaved people or contact a member of the clergy at the Cathedral.

Find GriefChat- a free web chat service for advice or to talk with a professional counsellor 9am-9pm Monday to Friday

Church of England information:

Healing Ministry at the Cathedral

The Christian healing ministry is not just about ‘alleviating symptoms’ but about getting to the root causes of illness and distress, about wholeness of body, mind, and spirit, and is a work of God. Nothing can separate us from the love of God, and when we pray for someone, we believe we are creating a space for God to work in their lives by the power of the Holy Spirit.


At Bradford Cathedral we offer prayer ministry at services of Choral Eucharist with Healing at 10.15am on the third Sunday of each month. Details of services appear in the Cathedral’s weekly news sheet, and on this website.

There is also a Healing Prayer Group consisting of lay and ordained members of the congregation, led by Alex McLelland.  Group members meet together regularly for prayer and reflection, and an annual Awayday. A list of members of this group is on the Community noticeboard in the Cathedral.

The group’s function is to pray for the healing and wholeness of members of the congregation or people known to them, because of illness or the need for spiritual support. They offer (in pairs) prayer and the ministry of Laying on of Hands at 10.15am services on the 3rd Sunday of each month, in private chapels at the East End of the Cathedral. People are welcome to come and ask for prayer for themselves or on behalf of someone else. There is no need to give any personal details when coming up for prayer, but if they are given, they will not be shared with anyone else.


Healing Prayer Group members are also happy to pray for members of the congregation in need at other times; please contact one of the Pastoral Care Team in person, or by phone or e-mail. Confidentiality is paramount at all times and e-requests are not discussed with others outside the group.

There is also a book of prayer requests available in the Cathedral, by the votive candle stand near the lectern. This book is taken up and placed on the altar during Sunday morning services and the contents are included in the prayers of the Cathedral community. Those unable to join us regularly for worship due to illness or infirmity are also remembered in the monthly Cathedral News.

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