Baptism (Christenings)

WHAT IS BAPTISM?

Baptism (from the Greek word for “to dip”) and Christening ( meaning “to make Christ’s”) are two words for the same thing - the special service where we welcome someone into the church family by baptising them with water, marking the start of a journey of faith.

WHO CAN BE BAPTISED?

Both adults and children can be baptised and you can be baptised at any age.

· Adults will make their own promises to God

· For children who are not old enough to make those promises, their parents do so on their behalf.

WHAT DO I NEED TO DO?

This information is for parents thinking about having their child baptised.

Like many people with a new baby, you may be looking for a way to thank God, who has given you such an amazing gift. We understand that having your baby baptised is an important family occasion. Whether you’re exploring the possibility of a christening or whether you’ve already decided, we will be delighted to hear from you to talk about it. Please contact the Church Office or the Rector so that we can answer any questions and, hopefully, book a date.

Once the date has been decided upon the Rector will arrange a time to come and see you and talk through it with you so that you understand everything that is being said and done during the service.

Godparents: You will want to choose people whom you trust to carry out this role. There is no fixed number, however, traditionally, it is two men and a woman for a boy, and two women and a man for a girl. All Godparents must themselves be baptised so it is important to check with them first, before asking them to undertake this important task.

UNDERSTANDING THE SERVICE

There are several moments in the service which have special meaning

The promises – the parents and godparents make important promises on behalf of the child. The whole congregation is also asked to join in.

The sign of the cross – parents and godparents are invited to make the sign of the cross on the baby’s head.

The Water – the water is blessed and poured over the child’s head by the Rector. This is the child’s baptism and is a sign of a new beginning and becoming part of God’s family.

Prayers are said for the child, parents and godparents.

The Candle – is given at the end of the service. The Rector says ‘Shine as a light in the world to the glory of God’

What does the Church of England say about Baptism/Christening?