ARRANGING A BAPTISM
Baptism is a sacrament, a visible sign of Godís love.† In baptism we thank God for the gift of life and acknowledge his love.† As a parent, when you bring your child to baptism, you start your child on a journey of faith and in recognising Godís gift you commit yourself, with the church, to sharing this journey with your child.
But baptism is also where you child received his or her Christian name and it is a great family celebration too!
If you would like to enquire about baptism, call the Rector (01275 873257) and arrange an appointment to talk this through.
Your childís baptism will normally take place during the main Sunday service (usually in the morning).† This is so that your child can be seen to be joining the family of the Church and be welcomed into membership.† In turn, the Church will promise to support and pray for you and your child.
The Clergy will make sure you know where to sit and when you need to move.† Some parts of the service will be for the whole congregation to join in, some will be for you and the godparents.
For the baptism itself, parents and Godparents will be asked by the priest to gather either at the front of the church or around the font.† (The font is a large basin on a pedestal, containing the water for baptism.)
The Clergy will ask the parents and godparents to make declarations on behalf of the child.
Q††††† What is the difference between a baptism and a christening?
A†††††††† None, they are just different words for the same thing.
Q††††† Can we have a private service of baptism?
A†††††††† Baptisms usually take place in the churchís main service, because they are a public declaration that your child has become part of the church family.† It is important that the church congregation is there to support you and welcome your child.† However, if personal circumstances make this difficult, talk to the clergy.
Q††††† What is the right age for baptism?
A†††††††† Baptism can happen at any age.† What matters is that those concerned believe it is right to ask for baptism.† Teenagers and adults may also be baptised.† This is celebrated with confirmation by the Bishop.† You can only be baptised once, but there are ways of renewing your commitment publicly as an adult Ė the clergy will be able to advise.
Q††††† Iím not a regular churchgoer.† Can I still have my child baptised?
A†††††††† Yes.† The church believes that Godís love is available to all, regardless of their background.† One of our Clergy can talk you through the options: you may prefer to have a thanksgiving service first and then consider baptism when you have had time to talk through what is being asked of you.† You may also wish to find out more about the Christian faith and what joining the Church involved before you make a decision about baptism.† Again, our Clergy can give you guidance.
Q††††† What does it cost?
A†††††††† The Baptism service is free.† There may be a small charge for a certificate or an administration fee.† Please ask our Clergy.
Q††††† What is a godparent?
A†††††††† Godparents make the same promises on behalf of the child being baptised as parents.† Godparents promise to pray and support the child and to help the parents to bring up the child in the Christian faith.† It is an important and responsible role.
Q††††† How many godparents should I have?
A†††††††† You should have at least three: two of the same sex as the child and one of the opposite sex.† Parents can also be godparents.
Q††††† Who should I choose to be a godparent?
A†††††††† Godparents can be family members or friends.† However, it is important that you choose people who will take an interest in your childís spiritual welfare and who will pray for you and your child.† They should be baptised themselves.† Ask our Clergy for advice.