Having Your Child Christened in Church
If you’re a parent and would like to have your child Christened (Baptised as it is also known) in one of our churches, we would be delighted to help. Christening is a wonderful way of blessing your child and setting it upon the right path in life at the beginning of his/her journey.
What should you do first?
Contact Revd Sheila Clark on 01931 714238 or by e-mail.
What do you need to know?
Venue and time
Because part of the significance of Christening is joining the church, we normally conduct Christenings in our regular Sunday Services so that the whole congregation is there to welcome your child, pray for you and share your joy. We usually try to do this during one of our Family-friendly services.
In accordance with the ancient tradition of the Church, we do not baptise during Lent, but we actively encourage baptisms at Easter, both on Easter Sunday and on Holy Saturday (the eve of Easter).
Do you need to be baptised yourself?
No. Godparents need to be baptised (see below), but parents do not, although you are welcome to be (see ‘Adult Baptism’ below) and we will gladly talk to you about that if you wish. You do, however, need to make certain promises about bringing up your child as a Christian and we will talk to you about those.
Being a Godparent is a wonderful thing to do. It is customary for a child to have at least three godparents – two of the same gender as the child and one of the opposite gender – but you can have more than three godparents. It is a requirement of church law that all Godparents must be baptised (Christened) themselves. It might seem strange that Godparents have to be baptised, while parents do not. However, that is because the particular role of a Godparent is to ‘parent’ the child’s walk with God. If your chosen Godparents haven’t been baptised, we are happy to baptise them so that they can act as Godparent (see ‘Adult Baptism’ below). Baptising adults like this is more common than you might think and can be seen as a sign of commitment to their role for your child. Guidance for you on choosing Godparents and guidance for your chosen Godparents can be found on the Church of England’s Christenings website – see below.
It is increasingly common for adults and older children to be baptised. The process is not very different from that applying to infants. Please speak to us if you are interested in being baptised yourself.
We are also able offer:
Some parents prefer to have a Thanksgiving Service in preference to a Christening. We are more than happy to speak to you about this if you would like.
Find out more
The Church of England’s Christenings website is full of useful information and good ideas.
Visit it at: https://churchofenglandchristenings.org