Baptism is the Christian sacrament in which water is sprinkled on to a person's forehead symbolizing purification or regeneration, and admission to the Christian Church. When this involves a young child, it usually includes the naming of the child, and is often then referred to as a christening.
Seeing someone else baptized, deciding to have your own child baptized, or being asked to be a godparent, can make you think about your own journey of faith. If you were not baptized as a young child, you may be deciding now as an adult or teenager to make this commitment.
Whatever led you to this point, baptism marks the beginning of a journey with God which continues for the rest of our lives.
For adults and young people, baptism usually takes place shortly before, or at the same time, as confirmation. Confirmation is the service when those who have previously been baptized affirm those promises and are specially prayed for by a Bishop.
If you are considering being baptized, and would like more information, talk to the vicar who will be delighted to help.
BAPTISM FOR CHILDREN
Your child is precious to you and precious to God. You want the very best for them, and so does God. You want them to make right choices in life, for themselves and for others.
Baptism is just the beginning of this and so much more.
Over the years to come, it’s a journey you’ll share together with your child by:
The Church of England has a dedicated website full of material on christenings which you may find helpful: https://churchofenglandchristenings.org
On this page we provide just some of that information with occasional links to pages on that website.
WHAT HAPPENS AT A BAPTISM?
CONTACTING THE CHURCH
In the first instance you should make contact with your local parish church. If you are uncertain which that is, you can check via the 'A Church Near You' website.
Whether you’re exploring the possibility of a christening or whether you’ve already decided, the vicar will be delighted to hear from you to talk about it.
When you call the church, you may not be able to book a date straightaway, but someone will call back. You’ll meet the vicar with your child to talk through the service and to help answer any questions you may have.
GODPARENTS - WHAT IS THEIR ROLE?
Godparents are some of the most important people at a christening. Their main roles are:-
Choosing the right people as godparents for your child is a big decision. Here are some key things which might help you decide:
There is a helpful guide for godparents that you could refer them to at https://churchofenglandchristenings.org/godparents/
A special church service, different from a baptism, can be used as a way to say thank you to God for your child. It is called a Thanksgiving for the Gift of a Child and you can view a possible form of words for this service here.
You might consider this service instead of a baptism if you decide that now isn’t the right time to have your child baptized.
You might also choose this service when your baby is just born, or if you have adopted a child into your family and you simply want to celebrate this with special words said by a vicar in church.
Whatever the reason, the vicar will be delighted to talk to you about this service.