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Baptism of a child

This page contains most of the things you need to know if you are considering having your child baptised at St John’s.

Baptism is also known as Christening. Please don’t be confused by this, it is the same thing: a sign of welcome into God’s family and a commitment to follow the way of Christ. Parents and Godparents make promises on behalf of children who are too young to make those promises for themselves.

Anyone who lives within the parish can be baptised in this church, and even if you don’t live locally, this need not be a barrier, but we do need to let the priest in your home parish know of your intentions and it might be more appropriate to have your child baptised where you live. Most importantly, we’re happy to talk you through the options!

To find out which parish you live in follow this link and enter your postcode.

Baptisms are always held on a Sunday. This is not negotiable.

Please note: we cannot commit to your child being the only one baptised at any service. It is not uncommon for there to be another family for the same Sunday, and, sometimes even to have three families at the same time. We will let you know if this is the case, of course.

Mostly we hold baptisms:

  • on the first Sunday of each month at 3pm: this is a special service, not linked to our more general times of worship, and consequently, there will be only a couple of people from the St John’s congregation present.
  • on the second Sunday of each month at 9.30am: this is our monthly ‘Family Communion’. It is a less formal, more child-oriented time of worship, with the usual Sunday congregation attending.

We hope that one of these two options will be suitable for you, but if not, then we can arrange baptisms at other of our main services. It’s probably best to give Revd Sharon a call to discuss the options in this case (01278 789290 or sharon.crossman@btopenworld.com).

In fact, whichever option you choose, the first step is to call Revd Sharon!

So, the process goes like this:

  1. Contact the parish office by telephone 01278 789290. (You may get Revd Sharon’s vociemail as the office is not permanently staffed, but please leave a message and we’ll ring you back).   You will be asked for your contact details and your child’s name, and we can discuss which dates are available for baptism and book you in.
  2. Attend a preparation session, usually on the Tuesday of the week before the baptism. Don’t worry, it’s nothing too heavy! We simply want to know that you want to get your child baptised because you desire for them to be part of the family of Christ, and to be welcomed into the congregation at St John’s. At the prep meeting you get to meet the priest who’ll conduct the service and some members of our baptism team over a tea or coffee. We’ll go through the baptism form that will have been sent to you, and we’ll talk about what baptism means, we’ll look at the service and finally we’ll go into church to see where the service takes place. This is your opportunity to ask questions, and just to get to know each other a little.
  3. Attend the Baptism. You will be asked to arrive about fifteen minutes before the service. The services lasts around 30-40 minutes.
  4. Come to one of our Family Communion Services. This is only if you have chosen to have your child baptised at one of afternoon services. Our family communions are held on the second Sunday of the month and are very child friendly (we don’t mind your children wandering around, as long as they are safe). Part of this service includes welcoming those who have been recently baptised. You will be given your child’s baptism candle and get to meet other members of St John’s. Hopefully you’ll see we are a friendly bunch. The Welcome is a very important part of having your child baptised.
  5. We want you to stay in touch with St John’s and so we will, from time to time, invite you to come to our family services, and also to special times such as Mothering Sunday, Harvest etc. You will also be invited back for the anniversary of your child’s baptism.

Finally you need to know there is no charge to have your child baptised. We do ask you to consider making a donation as this helps us keep the church warm and in good repair.

If you have read all of this and are not sure if baptism is the right route for you, but you want to do something to say thank you for the safe arrival of your little one you may like to consider a Service of Thanksgiving.