Baptisms range from large celebrations involving lots of family and friends to small, intimate occasions. Whatever the size of the baptism, we will work with you to make it something special to remember as God’s love for your child is made known. The baptism will be arranged with you as a family; we don’t baptise groups of people together. Baptisms often take place in the main Sunday service at 9.30am. If a baptism doesn’t happen at the main Sunday service, it usually happens in a special ceremony at 12.30pm.
We want you and your guests to feel welcomed into the church. You sit wherever you like and you don’t need to worry about what is happening next or when to stand up and sit down—at most baptisms, we have a specially produced order of service where everything everybody needs is clearly laid out.
Baptism marks the beginning of a journey with God that continues for the rest of our lives. In the service, we use symbols to paint a picture of what baptism means.
There is the sign of the cross, the badge of faith, which reminds us how Christ died for us. There is the water, which is a sign of life. We cannot live without water, and we use it to wash with. Water in baptism represents the cleansing and refreshing love of God. There is oil—a sealing with the gifts of the Holy Spirit, a sign of blessing. There is a candle, lit to remind us of the light of Christ, which banishes the darkness of evil. It also reminds us that we walk in the light of Christ for the rest of our lives.
Baptism means accepting the way of Jesus Christ as a pattern for living and accepting his help to live a generous life and not a self-centred one.
Arranging a Baptism
The first thing to do is contact the church. It’s a good idea to have a few dates in mind at this point. We will arrange a meeting where the date and time of the baptism will be confirmed and the various options and choices explained. We’ll talk about the service and answer any questions you have about godparents, or any other aspect of the ceremony.
We would usually have a meeting the week before the baptism where we go through the order of service together. This is the best way to think about what baptism means and to answer any questions you might have.
At the Baptism
At the baptism, your child is given a certificate and a baptismal candle to remind them that Christ’s light is always with them. Then, or at a special service later on, we will present your child with a Bible—the good news of God’s love.
When can our baptism take place?
There are two opportunities to have your child baptised with us, both of which take place on a Sunday.
The first option is to have your child baptised during the main Sunday service at 9.30am. This means, that as well as your family and friends, you will be inviting the whole congregation to take part in the service. The baptism will be arranged with you as a family in mind; we don’t baptise groups of people together.
Sometimes it isn’t possible for the baptism to take place in the main Sunday service and so baptisms can also take place in a separate service, generally on a Sunday lunch time.
In this instance, we provide a verger to prepare the church and the font, welcome you all and assist the priest taking the service. If you would like some music and hymns at a separate baptism service, then this can be arranged.
In this service, the family choose the readings. You can have as many readings as you like. At least one must be a Bible reading but the others can be chosen from anywhere—or written for the occasion. Here are some suggestions of Bible readings you may wish to consider.
|Mark 1.1-11||John 3.1-8|
|Romans 5.6-11||Psalm 66.4-11|
|Genesis 17.1-8||John 15.1-11|
|Matthew 28.16-20||Galatians 3.27-4.7|
|Isaiah 43.1-7||2 Kings 5.1-15a|
Please contact us if you would like these and some other suitable readings sent to you. These will enable you to get you started.
Find out lots more really useful information about Church of England Christenings
Hiring Our Church Hall
If you are having a celebration after the baptism, you may be interested in hiring our church hall. This is available once the Sunday School children have finished for the morning –normally this is from 10.45am. The hall is a great place for gatherings with its own kitchen area, chairs and tables which can accommodate up to 50 people seated and an outside play area as well. The hall is also fully accessible for disabled visitors.
The hall can be hired for £13 per hour. Find out more and book the hall.