beginning of a journey
Baptism is a sacrament, a visible sign of God’s love. Young and old alike can be baptised.
Through the sacrament of baptism for children you as parents are thanking God for his gift of life, deciding to start your child on the journey of faith and asking for the Church’s support. Baptism marks the start of your child’s journey of faith, turning towards Christ and becoming a member of the local and worldwide Christian family.
At St John’s, your child’s baptism will normally take place during the main Sunday morning service, using the historic font at the west end of the church. This is so that your child can be seen to be joining the family of the Church and be welcomed into membership. In turn the Church will promise to support and pray for you and your child.
Teenagers and adults may also be baptised. 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.
What matters is that those concerned sincerely desire to follow Christ and have a good appreciation of what they are doing. Therefore, for young people and adults the normal practice is for them to attend a series of nurture classes prior to Baptism or Confirmation.
If you wish to enquire further about Baptism or Confirmation please contact the Parish Office; we will send a form to you.
You may wish to ask your parish priest about having a service of Thanksgiving for the Gift of a Child. In this service, you thank God for the gift of your child and the child is blessed. You do not make the same promises as in the Baptism service.
If you choose to have a Thanksgiving, you may also have a Baptism service for your child at a later date.
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: Baptisms usually take place during the church’s main service, but we do offer services at other times, subject to the availability of clergy. Please contact the Parish Office well in advance.
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.
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. Your parish priest 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, your parish priest can give you guidance.