We’re delighted you’re interested in having your child baptised in the Church of England and we look forward to welcoming you to one of our churches for this purpose. For some, Baptism is a new experience and we hope you’ll find plenty of answers on this site. If you still have questions at the end, please contact Rector Jane Davies.
WHAT IS BAPTISM?
It’s easy to think of Baptism as simply a naming ceremony, but in fact it is so much more Baptism is, in fact, an entry into a Christian life and a response to the goodness which God has shown us. In the Bible, Baptism symbolises us being washed clean from all the bad that we’ve done and also the start of a new life in Christ. This is such a radical change that St Paul talks about this being like dying and coming to life again.
Obviously babies cannot make a decision like that! That’s why when babies are baptised the parents and the godparents make promises on the child’s behalf. It’s important that these promises are made by people who mean them, and Godparents must be baptised themselves.
So, baptism is the beginning of a life that is lived with God as the focus. It is an awesome and superb thing!
WHO CAN BE A GODPARENT?
A godparent is someone who represents the family of the church and is responsible for encouraging your child’s growth in faith. It is traditional to have two godparents who are the same gender as the child and one of the opposite gender, but you can have more if you wish.
Because the godparents make promises before God on behalf of your child, they have to have been baptised themselves.
WHAT HAPPENS IN THE SERVICE?
The sign of the cross – the priest will make the sign of the cross on your child’s forehead. This is like an invisible badge to show that Christians are united with Christ and must not be ashamed to stand up for their faith in him.
Anointing – oil is used to make the sign of the cross. This is a sign of the outpouring of God’s Holy Spirit, and is a symbol of well being and blessing.
Water – the priest will pour water on your child’s head. Water is a sign of washing and cleansing. In baptism it is a sign of being washed free from sin and beginning a new life with God.
Candles – Jesus is the Light of the World. A large candle (the Easter candle) will be lit in the church and you will be given a lighted candle at the end of the service as a reminder of the light that has come into your child’s life.
HOW MUCH WILL IT COST?
There is no fee for a baptism but a donation towards the work of the church is always welcome.
WHAT DO I DO NEXT?
Contact us either by email or telephone so we can discuss a time and date that’s suitable for both sides. When the ceremony is in the diary, someone will arrange to pop round and visit you.