Church of England Diocese of Hereford Smethcote

Christening

We are delighted that you are considering a christening. Baptism is a very important occasion both for the Church and for your family, and one that we take very seriously.


What is a Baptism or a Christening?

In baptism (also referred to as ‘christening’) a person, adult or child, begins their journey in the Christian faith and is welcomed into the church family. In baptism, we thank God for his gift of life and publicly acknowledge his love. In the Church of England it is common to baptise young children; this is sometimes known as christening.

Baptism is a 'sacrament' (a holy ritual to symbolise grace) in the Christian tradition that is traced back to Jesus himself being baptised in the river Jordan. Through baptism we welcome a child or adult on the journey of faith.

In the baptism of a child who cannot speak for themselves the parents, godparents and the wider church family:

* declare, to ourselves and to those around us, our belief in a loving God and our desire to bring up our child in that belief.

* undertake on our child’s behalf to turn away from all that draws us away from God.

* ask for the Church’s support to help us to nurture the love of God in our child.

* confirm our membership of the local and worldwide Christian family.

* give thanks to God for the gift of life and of our child.

* actively commit to involve the child in the life of the church.


Who can be a godparent to my child?

Godparents can be family members or friends. 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 must be baptised themselves and mature enough to act as a godparent. There must be at least two godparents, parents can be godparents to their own child but in this case there must be at least one other godparent. It is unusual to have more than four godparents, but not impossible.


We’re not married – can our child still be baptised?


Yes, we are delighted to baptise you or your child, whether you are married, single, co-habiting - straight, gay, LGBQTIA etc

If you would like to discuss the possibility of getting married, please talk to our Rector. We can arrange a wedding and baptise your children in the same service if you would like that. (Unfortunately the law does not yet allow same sex marriage within our churches).


We don’t live in the area - can we have our baby baptised here?

It is usual to have your baby baptised in the parish where you live so that your child can be welcomed and grow in your local church family. However, if there are particular reasons why you would like to have the baptism here (e.g. family links), it may be possible to arrange it with the agreement of your own local vicar.


Can older children or adults be baptised?

Yes, absolutely! But it does require their active consent.


Do adults have godparents when they are baptised?

Adults usually have three or at least two sponsors – close friends or family members.


What does it cost?

Baptism is a symbol of God’s love for us which is freely given. We make no charge.


Is there an alternative to baptism for my child?

A Service of Thanksgiving can be held in church to give thanks for the gift of new life and to ask for God’s blessing on your child. No promises are made by the parents and there are no godparents, but it can have a place as a formal means of naming your child publically.


How do I arrange a christening?

Baptisms normally take place within the main Sunday morning service. We hope that the baptism service will be a happy and memorable time for all concerned and, like everything else important in life it requires careful planning and preparation.

To arrange a christening/baptism please contact our Rector, Rev. Laura Hnatiuk - [email protected]