Why have your child christened/baptised?
There are all sorts of reasons why people want their children baptised or christened as it’s often called.
What are yours? You might have a sense that it’s the right thing to do; you might want God’s love for your child to be expressed in this particular way; you might recognise a value in the tradition.
I welcome all children of my parishes to be baptised. I also welcome the opportunity this affords me and the members of my congregations to teach about Jesus and help parents who want to teach their children about Him and bring them up to love and serve Him. Jesus says to all His followers:
Go into all the world and make disciples, baptising them in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit and teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you.
I and the members of the churches here want to do as Jesus tells us and make disciples for Him in the way He asks us to. So, it is important for us that I do some preparation with you before we fix a date for the baptism.
Popular misunderstandings answered:
- Having your child baptised will not guarantee them a place in a certain school.
- Having your child baptised will not make you or your child any more loved and accepted by God.
- Having your child baptised will not give your child a start in life that’s better than any other – that’s up to you!
What is christening/baptism?
I think the best way to think of it is as enrolment into a programme. When your child is baptised, these words will be said:
Fight valiantly as a disciple of Christ against sin, the world and the devil and remain faithful to Christ to the end of your life.
You are committing your child to a lifetime of sending away sin and being faithful to Jesus. I’ll talk more about this with you in the preparation sessions.
Who’s it for?
It’s mainly babies and small children that I baptise but older children and adults can be baptised too – perhaps by full immersion! In the case of older children and adults they themselves have to make the decision to be baptised and usually confirmation follows on soon afterwards. In these cases, it’s often best to be baptised by the bishop and then confirmed as well there and then.
I can baptise children from outside of my parishes but there has to be a good reason for this and with the agreement of the vicar in whose parish the child lives. Ideally children should be baptised in the parishes where they live and the parents take them to church services there to build up a relationship with their local church.
Who can be a godparent?
To be a godparent, that person must themselves have been baptised, ideally, they should also be a confirmed communicant member of the Church of England. A parent can be a godparent. Most importantly what you need in a godparent is someone who is themselves a dedicated believer in Jesus; someone who will help you raise your child as a Christian and set a good example for your child by being a regular church attender, someone who prays and reads the Bible and who seeks to live out their own life in obedience to Jesus.
When do the services take place?
I will discuss this further with you after you’ve done the preparation sessions. Most of our baptisms take place outside of the main Sunday services this is simply because I have three churches to run and it is often difficult to come up with times on a Sunday morning that work for everyone.
What to do now
To make an enquiry, and book a meeting with me please use the contact details below:
You can also read a lot more about baptism in the Church of England using this link to the Church of England Website: Christenings | The Church of England