Baptism - also called 'Christening' - is open to adults and children of any age.
Baptism creates a link between you, your family and the world-wide family of the Church, so the Church has a responsibility to help you in your (or your child's) ongoing life of faith. This will begin when one of our Baptism Visitors contacts you to make a time to visit to talk to you about the baptism service and about the range of other services, groups and activities we offer as a church which we help will be a help to you in your Christian life.
If you wish wider family and friends (such as Godparents or Sponsors) to be present at your meeting with the Baptism Visitor, do please invite them along.
Planning The Baptism
Date and Time of Baptism
Baptisms take place either during our main Sunday service, or after the service in the early afternoon (usually at 12.30pm). Where possible, if a baptism takes place outside the main Sunday service, we aim to hold it at the same time as another baptism, as the presence of members of the wider community helps to symbolise the world-wide family of the Church you or your child becomes part of at baptism.
Arranging the Baptism
Please ring 01353 725948 or email to arrange the baptism. We will need to know the following:
Godparents and Sponsors
Godparents (or, for an adult, Sponsors) are chosen as people who can be trusted to provide a good example of Christian living to the person who is to be baptised. They take on a particular responsibilty to pray for the person to whom they are Godparent, and to help them grow in the life of faith. It is a requirement of Church ('Canon') Law that all Godparents and Sponsors have been baptised. Traditionally, boys have two Godfathers and one Godmother and girls have two Godmothers and one Godfather, but just one Godparent is enough.
The church does not charge for baptisms, but donations towards the work of the church would be gratefully received: a plate for donations will be left near the door at the end of the baptism service.
Guidance For The Baptism Service
Along with Eleanor, our vicar, your baptism visitor or another member of the visiting team will be there to welcome you and your guests when you arrive at church.
Please ask your guests to be in their places five minutes before the service begins.
Baptism guests often include children, and we are always pleased to welcome them amongst us. There is a children's area in church with toys for them to play with, and a toilet at the back of the church building.
Photographs and Recordings
Please note that since it is likely that there will be more than one baptism party present at the baptism service, data protection regulations mean that no images or recordings may taken during the service, as these may include people you do not know and whose permission to publish the images you have not sought. You are welcome to stay for as long as you like after the service in order to take photographs of your own guests.
What happens at the service?
During the baptism service, the vicar will take blessed oil and use it to make a sign of the cross on your child’s forehead. This is a sign that through baptism your child belongs to Jesus Christ, who will be with him/her through all life’s ups and downs. Parents, Godparents and your baptism visitor are invited to join in the signing.
Later the child’s parents and Godparents are asked to make promises on his or her behalf. Baptism is a new start. It means promising to turn over a new leaf in life and trying to live more like Jesus taught us to. Water is poured over the child’s head as a sign of cleansing and new birth.
At the end of the service your child will be given a lighted candle. This candle is a sign of the life and light of Jesus which will burn in your child’s heart for ever, and of God’s guiding presence throughout his or her life. It is also reminds us that Christians are called to shine like lights in God’s world.
What happens next?
Your baptism visitor will tell you about the many children’s activities that happen at St Andrew’s Church. Keep an eye on the ‘What we do’ pages on this website too.
More information about Christenings is available here: https://www.churchofenglandchristenings.org