The journey of faith begins...
What is baptism?
Baptism marks the beginning of the journey of faith and can be undertaken at any age. In the Anglican tradition where it is usual to baptise babies the service involves parents and godparents making promises on behalf of the child. At the beginning of the service, the parents and godparents are reminded of their duties:
‘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?' Parents and godparents are invited to respond: ‘With the help of God, we will.’
To make these promises does not mean that you have to be a fully signed-up church-goer, but it does mean that you intend to bring up your child within the Christian faith. As you think about baptism, it is good to pause and reflect on how you intend to do this. Bringing your child for baptism is a great opportunity to explore your own faith. As part of the preparation for baptism you will meet with one of the clergy team to discuss the content of the service and explore any questions you may have.
Is ‘baptism’ the same as ‘christening’?
Yes – the two words refer to the same ceremony which involves anointing with oil, and pouring water on the candidate's head three times, in the name of God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
Do we have to attend the parish church for our child to be baptised there?
The family must reside in the parish or be on the Electoral Roll and attend the church at least occasionally. If they do not live in the parish but have a valid reason why they want their child baptised here and the Rector is supportive, then we will require approval from their own parish priest in order for us to proceed.
Do godparents need to be baptised? How many can there be?
Godparents chosen for a candidate must be baptised themselves. They also need to be over sixteen years of age. It is usual to have three godparents: two of the same sex as the child and one of the opposite sex, but to have one godfather and one godmother is sufficient; to have more than three is possible, but quality is better than quantity!
Can I receive adult baptism?
Yes – many adults are baptised, but is usual practice now for this to take place within the context of a service of Confirmation. Please speak to one of the clergy about this. For more information about Confirmation, click here.
What is a service of Thanksgiving?
This is a special service to celebrate and give thanks for the gift of a new child and to receive God's blessing. It is without the commitments of baptism and so is chosen by those who do not feel ready to make such promises. Speak to one of the clergy if you are interested in finding out more about this service.
What are the charges?
There is no charge for baptism or thanksgiving, but it is customary to make a donation to the church.
When do baptisms take place?
In this benefice baptisms usually take place at 12.30pm on a Sunday and sometimes take place within the morning service.
To make a baptism enquiry…
Click here to complete and submit our online baptism enquiry form.