Despite our beautiful building being closed we are still offering Baptisms/Christenings. We have conducted them at Pingle Academy, in our own Community Centre, and also in other private locations.
The Church of England conducts over 2,500 christenings every week of the year. Everyone is welcome to have their baby or child baptised at a Christening in their parish church and it remains a popular decision for parents.
Here are some frequently asked questions about getting your baby or child Christened.
1. What is the difference between a Baptism and a Christening?
There is no difference between a Christening service and a Baptism service. Some churches will use the word ‘baptism’ and some the word ‘christening’. Babies are ‘baptised’ during a ‘Christening’ service just as couples are ‘married’ during a ‘wedding’ service.
2. Can anyone have a Christening service?
Yes, so long as they have not been baptised already. The Church of England welcomes all babies, children and families for Christenings – whatever shape that family takes. You do not have to be married to ask for a Christening for your child. You do not have to be an active churchgoer – as parents, you do not even have to have been Christened yourselves. Everyone is welcome at their local church.
3. What about godparents?
Godparents are some of the most important people at the Christening. Godparents are not the people who will care for your child should anything happen to you. Rather, they should be people who will be there for your child and help them think about the bigger questions in life – questions of love, hope and faith.
Every child should have at least three godparents, two of the same sex and at least one of the opposite sex. Parents may be godparents for their own children, providing they have at least one other godparent. Godparents must be baptised themselves and old enough to make some serious promises on behalf of the child.
4. Can I give thanks to God for a child rather than have a baptism?
Yes, this is another option, the thanksgiving makes no demands of anyone or promises from them, but just gives thanks to God for the child. This can be a good option if you would like your child to be able to decide for themselves in the future whether they would like to be Baptised. This is normally incorporated into one of our 10am services.
5. How do I go about arranging a thanksgiving or Christening for my child?
Come to one of our Worship Altogether services at 10am on the 1st and 3rd Sundays of the month – bring all the family – it’s a lively service which keeps children and adults occupied! Then chat to the Vicar over coffee after the service and he will make arrangements with you to do some baptism preparation prior to the baptism taking place.
4. How much does a Christening service cost?
There is a small cost of £13 per child, which covers the writing up of the registers and Christening certificates for the parents and godparents.
10. What exactly is Baptism?
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.