Having a child is marvellous, and a life changing experience. It is also hard work. Baptism (also known as Christening) gives an opportunity to thank God for the gift of the child, to ask his blessing and his strength. It is an opportunity to celebrate, to come together as family and church – and to have a party.
We usually baptise at Sunday lunchtimes, at 1 pm or 2 pm. The service lasts about half an hour. In baptism we are starting a lifetime’s journey with God – a journey that thousands commit themselves on a regular basis. You are making this journey with millions across the world. As parents and Godparents you will be asked “Will you care for them, and help them take their place within the life and worship of Christ’s church?” – if an individual is to discover the new life that Jesus offers they need to learn about His life and see what the Christian faith means in action. Parents and Godparents promise help and support during this journey of discovery. Through their prayers and by example, they promise to draw those being baptised into the community of faith and walk with them in the way of Christ. It is normal to have three or four Godparents, and they must have been baptised themselves.
To enquire about a Baptism, please phone Caroline in the Church Office on 01332 552031. Sometimes we do get booked up for several months in advance – so don’t leave it too long! However, there is no age limit – so don’t feel guilty if you haven’t got round to it in these Covid times. Once the date is fixed you will be sent a form to complete, then one of the clergy will be in touch a few weeks in advance of the service and will come and see you beforehand. There is no charge for baptism – but we do ask for a donation.
We are also happy to baptise older children and adults, and offer Confirmation for teenagers and adults – where the individual “confirms” the promises made for them at Baptism. We sometimes arrange for a child’s baptism at their parents’ wedding – which can be ideal when you’ve got everyone together for a celebration. We also offer a Service of Thanksgiving if you don’t want to make the promises required by Baptism, but still want to celebrate your child’s birth.
After Baptism we keep in touch with you, and hope you’ll become part of the life of the church – we hope our All-Age Services and children's work will be able to re-start in 2023.
For more information about baptism, click here for the Church of England's website.
William was baptised on Sunday 19 February 2017. Here he is with mum and dad Rachel and Luke after the service. William (and later his sister) were regular members of St Matthew’s church – until they moved to Canada. The church is a worldwide fellowship.