Many people want to celebrate the arrival of a child in particular ways, and Christening is one way of doing that. We would love to celebrate with you.
Christening (or ‘Christian Initiation’ in formal language) is all about Christ-en-ing your child, which could be summed up as “involving Christ in the life of your child and your child in the life of Christ”. There are two particular services that we can use to do this, and the right one for you and your family depends upon what sort of faith-journey you intend to make as a family.
The easiest way to decide upon this is to have a chat with the Rector, the Revd David Hildred (phone 01226 752236 to arrange it), and the table below will give you some idea of the things that will be covered.
We don’t ask you to make a choice between Thanksgiving and Baptism, but to begin a journey with Thanksgiving as the first step, and Baptism as a second step whenever that becomes appropriate. Some families pause at the first step, others move quickly to the second; we want you to make that journey at the speed that is best for you. No-one is pushed into making the second step before they are ready. We arrange a couple of sessions between the two steps in order to clarify the promises and commitment involved in Baptism.
|What this service does||You want to mark the arrival of your child, are grateful to God and want to seek his blessing||You have chosen the path for your child of following Jesus and want the support of the church family by getting involved|
|When it could take place||Can happen in a Sunday service, or arranged privately on any day at any time (many choose a Sunday afternoon slot)||Can only happen in the main Sunday morning full service at 11:00am (All Saints) or 9:30am (St Michael’s)|
|Sponsors||Supporting Friends are chosen by you to stand alongside you in the service - any number||Godparents – traditionally there are three, two of whom are the same sex as the child|
|Qualifications of sponsors||A simple desire to thank God and seek his blessing for the child, and a willingness to support you||They must have all been baptised and preferably confirmed, be ready to pray for your child and lead by example how to live the Christian faith|
|Order of Service||Friends and family can take an active part if you like, by saying something or reading, or doing the Bible reading, bringing a musical contribution, showing photographs - you can make it special and unique to your child and family||The baptism is part of the main Sunday service and so will include the theme of the day’s Bible reading, with its special message for you and your guests|
|Music||You may choose your or your child's favourite hymn/song/s||The hymns/songs are chosen by others to fit the theme of that day, but are usually easy to sing|
|Length of Service||20-30 minutes (depending on how much you want to include!)||We aim for 60 minutes|
|Child Friendly||It’s a service for the whole family||It’s a service for the whole family|
|Photos||Family and friends may take photos throughout, though it might be better to wait until the end||Photography is not permitted in the service but there is an opportunity to take photos after the baptism around the font|
|Symbols||Part of the Bible (a Gospel) is given, but water is not used||The sign of the cross is made, water is used, and a candle is given|
|Availability||A date can be arranged by talking with the Rector, to start this amazing journey||A couple of preparation evenings (at your home if convenient) are arranged before fixing the date of the baptism|