What is baptism?
Baptism or Christening (which means Christian-making) is a happy and special event, usually the first ‘formal’ event in a child’s life. We are pleased to be able to share it with you and hope it marks the beginning of a long and happy association with our church.
- It is a chance for all the family to get together, celebrate and thank God for the new life which he has given.
- It is a time when we remember that as well as being a member of a human family your child is part of God’s family too, the family of the church.
- It is sacrament, that means an outward sign of God’s love.
What are the promises?
The Baptism service involves the parents and Godparents declaring their own Christian faith and making promises to turn to Christ and bring up the child as a Christian. We will help you to understand the promises and recognise the true meaning of baptism to enable you to enter into the service in a meaningful way. If you feel unable to make these promises you may prefer a service of thanksgiving for the birth of your child.
How we prepare for baptism
We take baptism very seriously because it is so important, but we understand how busy you may be, and how difficult it can be to get babysitters.
- There is no preparation course. Instead, we ask you to come to only one evening meeting.
- You are encouraged to form a habit of coming to Family Praise on the 2nd Sunday of each month at 10.00am to share in worship and get to know other families. You may find it helpful to note the dates in your diary both before and after the baptism.
- You are welcome to take an extra month or two if you want to stop and think things over at any point.
What are the next steps?
If you live in the parish of St Nicholas or St Barnabas please call the Parish Office (01926 857509) to request a Baptism Pack. Together we take the following steps…
- Inside the Baptism Pack you will find lots of information including a ‘Joining the Christian Family’ booklet, ‘Godparents Guidelines’ and details of other services available for young families. There is also a Request for Baptism form for you to complete.
- Come to the next Family Praise on the second Sunday of the month at 10.00am and hand the Request for Baptism form to the Baptism Team at the end of the service. The Baptism Team will book places for you at the Preparation Meeting and confirm the venue. If this is the second or third baptism in your family we hope that at the preparation meeting you will be able to share your experience of bringing up children in the Christian faith.
- Come to the Preparation Meeting which is held at 8.00pm on the second or third Tuesday evening of the month subject to demand. The Preparation Meeting gives you a chance to talk to other families about baptism and we also explain the service so that you can understand the promises you are making on behalf of your child.
- Come to the next Family Praise with your Baptism Application Form. We will then confirm the booking.
- Your child will be baptised at 11.30am on the second Sunday of the month on the date agreed at the Preparation Meeting. The baptism service lasts around 30 minutes.
- Come to the Family Praise service after the baptism when you and your child will be invited to the front of the church to be welcomed into the family of the church and receive a baptism candle.
- We all continue to share in the life and worship of your child, encouraging them to know of God’s love for them and grow into the faith into which they have been baptised.
What about adult baptism?
The baptism of older teenagers and adults is usually associated with the individual’s Confirmation. Please visit our Confirmation page to find out more.
Where can I find out more?
You’ll find more information about baptism on the Church of England website.