Frequently Asked Questions
Q| What's the difference between a baptism and a christening?
A| None, they are just different words for the same thing.
Q| Can we have a private service of baptism?
A| Ideally baptisms take place in the church's main service, because they are a public declaration that your child has become part of the church family. It is important that the church congregation is there to support you and welcome your child. However, if personal circumstances make this difficult, there are also services of baptism, by arrangement, on the 1st and 3rd Sundays of the month at 12.30pm.
Q| What is the right age for baptism?
A| Baptism can happen at any age. What matters is that those concerned believe it is right to ask for baptism.
Teenagers and adults may also be baptised – speak to the priest about this. This is celebrated with confirmation by the Bishop. You can only be baptised once, but there are ways of renewing your commitment publicly as an adult – the priest will be able to advise.
Q| I'm not a regular churchgoer. Can I still have my child baptised?
A| Yes. The Church believes that God's love is available to all, regardless of their background. We can talk you through the options: you may prefer to have a Thanksgiving service first and then consider baptism when you have had time to talk through what is being asked of you.
You may also wish to find out more about the Christian faith and what joining the Church involves before you make a decision about baptism. Again, we can give you guidance.
Q| What does it cost?
A| The Baptism service is free. There will be a collection at the door at the end of the service.
Q| What is a godparent?
A| Godparents or sponsors make the same promises on behalf of the child being baptised as parents. Godparents promise to pray and support the child and to help the parents to bring up the child in the Christian faith. It is an important and responsible role.
Q| How many godparents should I have?
A| You should have at least three: two of the same sex as the child and one of the opposite sex. Parents can also be godparents.
Q| Who should I choose to be a godparent?
A| Godparents can be family members or friends. However, it is important that you choose people who will take an interest in your child's spiritual welfare and who will pray for you and your child. They should be baptised themselves. Ask the priest for advice.
What happens after the baptism?
Baptism marks a new start for your child, as a member of the worldwide Christian community. In turn, the Church welcomes you and your child and promises to support you in bringing the child up in the faith. Most churches have services where children are welcome and special groups and activities for them. There may be a toddler group or 'pram' service during the week.