Baptism for a young child is often called christening – the meaning is the same. In Baptism a child (or an adult) is welcomed as a member of the church, and begins their Christian journey. When a young child is baptised the parents and the godparents make promises on behalf of the child. Firstly they promise to bring up the child within the Christian faith, by setting them the right examples, by bringing them to church, by teaching about Jesus, and by praying for them. The parents and godparents are then asked to make the promises of the Christian faith on behalf of their child, in believing and following Jesus Christ. The child is signed with the sign of the cross on their forehead, is baptised with the water, and is given a special lighted candle as a sign of God’s love.
Arranging your service
Because of the nature of the promises, and the welcome the child is given into the church, a baptism service is always held in church on a Sunday.
It may be held within the main parish service, or later on Sunday morning (usually about 12 – 12.30).
Please indicate on the form the month that you would like to have your service. A member of the clergy will phone you to discuss dates and times, which need to be fitted around availability and other services and events held in church on a Sunday. The service usually lasts 35 – 40 minutes.
We always like to make each baptism service special and personal for you and your child. There will be the opportunity during the service for a member of the family, godparent or friend to say some words, or read a poem or reading of your choice. You may like to have a hymn or song during the service. If you have older children, we love them to be involved in the service as a way of remembering their own baptism. The vicar will discuss these things with you when you meet.
It is usual to choose 3 godchildren for each child. These may be good friends or relatives, whom you respect and whom you wish to be part of your child’s future. The godparents promise to help bring up the child in the Christian faith and for this reason it is necessary that they are already baptised, though it does not matter which denomination of the church this is.
Is there a charge?
There is no official fee for a baptism, as it is a service of welcome of your child to the church. We ask that you consider giving a donation to the church, as all of our church running costs need to come from donations and fund raising. A recommended donation for a baptism service is £50. There will also be a collection plate at the back of the church for any of the congregation who would like to leave a donation.
What happens next?
Please fill in the Baptism Enquiry form, and return it to our parish administrator. Please include landline, mobile and email address.
The vicar will then contact you to discuss the date and time for your service. Throughout the year we hold baptism preparation afternoons – for all the family and children to come to – and we will let you know the next date so that you can plan to come. During that time we will look at the meaning of the service and how to make it personal and special for your family.