We are delighted that you are considering having your child Christened. Christening is also known as Baptism. Whatever you know it by it is a special moment in the spiritual life of a child, their parents, Godparents and the whole family.
Here at St Andrew’s, St Cecilia’s, St Mary's and St Thomas’ we want to give you a warm welcome and do all we can to make the occasion special and enjoyable for you and your family.
All our Baptism services take place within our Sunday morning services, normally at 9.15 am or 11.15 am. This allows the whole church to support you and to welcome your child, as a new Christian, into our church family. Occasionally, a service is held on a Sunday afternoon at 3 pm, with a welcome in the church during the next possible Sunday service.
The promises made during the service are serious and we want to make sure that parents and Godparents understand the Christian faith and are ready to keep the promises they are going to make. That's where Christening/Baptism preparation comes in.
You can find much helpful information at https://www.churchofengland.org/life-events/christenings
Arranging the Christening
Please contact Revd Dr Steve Bate, Rector, 01279 842609 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange an initial meeting during which a date for the Christening and a preparation meeting will be set.
At the preparation meeting in church, Steve will discuss the service with you in detail, including the importance of the promises that you are going to make, and answer any questions you may have.
Joining the Church family
A warm welcome awaits you at any of our services. Refreshments are served after most services, and you will have an opportunity to meet members of our church.
At Baptism you promise to bring your child up within the life of the church. Why not come along one Sunday, join in the service and stay for refreshments afterwards. We have children's areas with activities for them. Don’t worry if your child gets restless, children are welcome at all our services.
Why not find out about the Christian faith?
Christenings are often a time when parents consider their own faith. You could read some of the Bible. The Gospels are a good place to start. We would recommend a version in modern English like the NRSV (New revised standard version) or NIV (New international version). To find out more ask Steve about courses that help you to understand the Christian faith.
How old does the child have to be?
Children can be baptized from birth. There is no upper age limit, but a child old enough to understand the Christian faith would join a short course of preparation.
Who can get baptized at St Andrew’s, St Cecilia’s, St Mary's and St Thomas’?
If you normally come to the church or live within the relevant parish your child can be baptized there.
If these do not apply to you, you need to demonstrate a special family connection with the parish.
I'm not baptized, does that matter?
No, but the Godparents need to be baptized. You might want to think about being baptized yourself too.
We're not married, does that matter?
No. We are also happy to talk about weddings too if you wish.
My partner is a Christian but I'm not. Can our child still be baptized?
Yes. Not all couples share the same faith. However, both parents need to be happy for the child to be baptized.
What does baptism cost?
Baptism is free, but we are always happy to receive donations in support of the church.