So you want to be baptised or have your child baptised at St. Mary’s? Here’s what to do!
Contact the Parish Office
Our Parish Administrator, Dorothy, will take your details and answer your questions.
t: 01494 729380
These frequently asked questions are aimed at parents wanting to get their child baptised. If you would like to be baptised yourself, you’ll have sponsors rather than godparents, and you’ll be making the promises to follow Jesus for yourself. All the rest applies though!
Q. Can I have my child baptised, at St. Mary's?
A. Yes, as long as you either live within the Parish, or have sought permission from the vicar of the Parish in which you live.
Q. Is there a difference between a 'baptism' and a 'Christening'?
A. No. These are just two terms used for the same event.
Q. Do I have to be married to have my child baptised?
Q. Do I have to be a Christian to have my child baptised?
A. No. However, the service is a Christian service. Baptism is about welcoming people into the Church as new Christians. A key part of the service are the promises to reject evil and follow Christ made by the godparents on behalf of the child being baptised. You will also be promising for yourselves that you’ll bring the child up as a follower of Jesus. Make sure you and the godparents know what you’re promising!
Q. Do the godparents have to be Christian?
A. Yes. All should be baptised, and we’d like at least one of them to be confirmed. They should also all be adults.
Q. What if we have good friends we'd like to be godparents who aren't Christians?
A. In that case they can be honorary godparents, but you’ll still need the correct number of Christian godparents.
Q. How many godparents do we need?
A. Ideally three, although you can have more. Two should be the same sex as the child being baptised and at least one should be of the opposite sex.
Q. Does my child have to be a particular age?
A. No, although if the child is old enough to understand the promises, they may want to make them for themselves. Speak to the Rector about how baptisms for older children might work.
Q. Can I choose who takes the service?
A. There is some flexibility with this, and you can request a particular member of the clergy team. Do mention it early on to Dorothy if this is something you feel strongly about. Please be aware that it will depend on availability!
Q. Can we have a private service?
A. No. At St. Mary’s, baptisms are always part of the main 10:15am Sunday service. This means the service will also include hymns, readings, a sermon, and Holy Communion.
Q. How much does it cost?
A. It’s free! If you’d like a certificate there will be a small charge for that though.
Q. What happens in the service?
A. In the baptism part of the service, water will be blessed and poured on the child’s head – this is the baptism itself (the word ‘baptism’ means ‘to be immersed in water’). They will be signed with the cross with a specially blessed oil. A candle will be given as a sign of Jesus the light of the world. Godparents and parents will make promises on behalf of the child and prayers will be offered for the child and the family.
Q. What exactly is Baptism?
A. Baptism marks the beginning of a journey with God which continues for the rest of our lives. This first step is a response to God’s love. It is also a celebration, a time to come together with family and friends; remembering that your child is loved by God, is part of a wider community and has a place with God’s people.