What is baptism?
In baptism (also known as "Christening"), you as parents are thanking God for this gift of life, deciding to start your child on the journey of faith and asking for the Church's support.
For your child, baptism marks the start of a journey of faith, which involves turning towards Christ and becoming a member of the local and worldwide Christian family.
Baptism is a 'sacrament': a visible sign of God's love. In baptism, we are thanking God for his gift of life and publicly acknowledging his love. We are acknowledging that we all need to make a new start with God and work for good.
What happens in the baptism service?
Your child's baptism may take place during the main Sunday service (10.30 am) or at a separate Baptism service (usually 12.30pm). Your child will be joining the family of the Church and be welcomed into membership. The Church will promise to support and pray for you and your child.
The priest will guide you and your guests through the service. Some parts of the service will be for the whole congregation to join in, some will be for you and the godparents.
For the baptism itself, parents and godparents will be asked by the priest to gather either at the front of the church or around the font. (The font is a large basin on a pedestal in the shape of an angel, containing the water for baptism.)
The priest will ask the parents and godparents to make declarations and promises on behalf of the child.
What happens after the baptism?
Baptism marks a new start for your child, as a member of the worldwide Christian community. The Christian community will promise to support you and to pray for you and your child. The Church welcomes you and your child and promises to support you in bringing the child up in the faith.
Children and families are welcome at church services. We have an active Junior Church for children and special occasional activities for children and families. Children may wish to be confirmed and receive Holy Communion - there will be special classes to prepare for this when that time times and you are encouraged to speak with the vicar for more information.
You can find out more about baptism on the Church of England Christenings webpages.