Baptism or Christening are the same thing. If you are considering baptism for your baby or for yourself, you will find some practical information below, and a fuller explanation of the meaning of baptism and christening later.
What should I want to find out about Baptism
The first step is to make contact with the Vicar, The Rev’d Dr Benjamin Carter. Benjamin will discuss with you how things can be arranged. If the Baptism is for your child we encourage you to come to one of our services which are best suited for children and families so you can get to know other members of the Church family and begin to talk about the arrangements then.
When can the Baptism happen?
You may wish the baptism to take place during one of our normal Parish services on a Sunday, or you may prefer a separate baptism service.
How many God parents should I choose?
We know that the choice of Godparents is a really important one for families. We encourage you to think carefully about this and choose no more than four Godparents for your child. They will make promises on behalf of the baby, and will pray for the child as he or she grows up. Because they are making baptismal promises for your child Godparents must be baptised as well.
What does Baptism cost?
Nothing but you may wish to make a donation to the Church to support our work in the Parish.
Can I be baptised as an adult?
Yes, just contact the Vicar to discuss this with him.
Must I be a regular worshipper at the Church?
We would like to welcome you at our services, and this would be a helpful way to ensure you feel comfortable ahead of the baptism itself. Our regular congregation enjoy the opportunity to share in the joy of your ceremony and you and your baby would be most welcome especially at services with a family flavour, for example our monthly Storybook Church service. Click here to read more about activities with children.
What is the significance of baptism?
Baptism is the first step on a journey, which brings the person being baptised into the community of the Church. The baby will be marked with the Cross of Jesus, a sign of love. The Cross is made on the baby’s forehead with oil, which is the anointing part of Baptism. Through this they are brought into the Church, the body of Christ, and it is from this act that the name “Christening” comes from.
At the font in the Church, the candidate will then have water poured three times over the head. This replicates a former practice, where people were baptised in rivers and were buried three times under water.
A final stage in the service is giving the child a candle lit from the Pascal Candle, (the Easter candle) as a symbol of Jesus’ victory over darkness and death.
Parents will then be given the candle and a baptismal certificate. The baptism will be formally entered in the Church’s Register of Baptisms.
You can find more useful information on the website, https://churchofenglandchristenings.org/