Whilst many expats on the island choose to have a civil marriage ceremony, it is also possible to have a religious ceremony or a baptism conducted by the Anglican Church, which has parishes across the island.
The Anglican church
There are six Anglican parishes in Cyprus with 12 churches, which fall under the Church of England’s international association. Each parish corresponds to a civil district in Cyprus, and each has at least one priest. The parishes in Nicosia, Limassol, Larnaca and Kyrenia have existed on the island for over 100 years, whilst the churches in Paphos and Famagusta have appeared in the past 20 years.
Anglican parishes and churches on the island fall under the Archdeaconry of Cyprus, which is part of the Anglican Diocese of Cyprus and the Gulf. The Archdeacon is the Venerable Dr John Holdsworth. The churches are:
· Nicosia: St Paul’s Cathedral
· Troodos: St George in the Forest (Nicosia parish)
· Limassol District: St Barnabas (Limassol) and St Lazarus (Pissouri)
· Larnaca: St Helena
· Paphos District: Ayia Kyriaki Chrysopolitissa, St Stephen (Tala) and St Luke (Polis)
· South Famagusta District: St John the Evangelist (Dherynia) and Christ Church (Ayia Napa)
· north Cyprus: St Mark (Famagusta) and St Andrew (Kyrenia)
The Rev. Canon Paul Maybury from the Famagusta parish explains that all churches are happy to receive enquiries for weddings or baptisms. People of any Christian denomination can get married and people from any religion can be baptism as a Christian.
Weddings & blessings
Weddings can be officiated over by an Anglican priest at any venue that is registered for weddings by the local municipality, once the necessary legal paperwork has been obtained. This is not just at actual Anglican churches and includes hotel chapels and other approved venues.
Procedures differ slightly from church to church. For example, certain parishes require a couple to meet with the vicar and a wedding rehearsal may also be required. What is permitted during the ceremony, including décor and music, also varies. Some churches can provide an organist or pianist, whilst others are happy to play your chosen song.
The cost of a church wedding or a vicar officiating a wedding is around €600 for a full wedding service within the church (not including the licence, which couples need to obtain). A church blessing following a civil marriage costs around €390, and similar fees apply for a wedding or blessing conducted at an external chapel or venue.
Baptisms of children and adults usually take place in the context of Sunday worship, but some churches are willing to hold a service privately at another time. Churches that include the baptism as part of their Sunday service will hold the regular service with the congregation and conduct the baptism in the course of the service.
Unlike Greek Orthodox baptisms, there is no immersion in water. There is a sprinkling of Holy Water as the parents and godparents follow a text and make the sacred promise to love and care for their godchild through God’s ways. Holy communion can then be taken as part of the usual Sunday service, although is not obligatory.
Adults wishing to be baptised must demonstrate ‘a definite coming to faith in the Lord Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord’. Some parishes will only baptise the children of their existing members, whilst others are more flexible. Some churches do not allow photography during the baptism and church service.
There is no fee for a baptism, although a donation to the church is appreciated.
Source: In Cyprus