Baptism is a great time for celebration as a person is welcomed into the church family. For children and adults it is an important public step and so baptisms take place in our Sunday morning services. When babies are baptized it is often called a Christening. In the service parents thank God for his gift of life, make a decision to start their child on a journey of faith and godparents promise help and support. The church also promises to welcome the child and to pray for the family.
As part of the preparation for baptism we expect those being baptized (or in the case of young children, their parents) to be regular in attending services at St John the Baptist and to be exploring and growing in their Christian faith.
Some parents might want to celebrate the gift of a child in a different way without the commitment that baptism involves. During the Thanksgiving service parents and families give thanks for the birth or adoption of a child and everyone prays for family life. It can take place in church with the congregation, or with just family and friends gathered, or elsewhere such as home, or even in hospital. A Thanksgiving Service is not a Baptism. There are no promises to make about the Christian faith. The child will be blessed and prayed for, and supporting friends will promise to support the parents in bringing up their baby.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is there a problem if my partner is not a Christian or does not come to church?
No. We can baptise you, or your children, based on your own faith or the faith of one parent. But all people are very welcome at Christ Church and we want those who do not share our Christian faith to find a place within this celebration and our church community.
Can my child be baptized if one of us if from another denomination or faith?
There is not normally a problem. We encourage you to talk to your other denomination or faith community and understand their feelings about the baptism.
We would also encourage couples to talk together about the implications of their differences for parenting and life, especially in relation to the promises made at baptism.
Can I have the baptism on a specific date or outside of the 10.30 service?
No, unless there are very significant reasons why that should be the case.
How many people can come as friends and relatives?
As many as you like!
Do we have to dress smartly?
St John the Baptist is very relaxed, flexible and welcoming. If you want to dress up, that’s great, but if you want to be more informal, that’s fine. The important thing is the meaning, not the clothing.
How much does the service cost?
There is no charge for this (although you are always welcome to make a donation to the church’s ministry).
For more information, take a look at www.churchofengland.org/weddings-baptisms-funerals/baptism/your-baptism.aspx
or contact Revd. Andy Wilson.