At St John's we welcome you as you consider baptism/christening whether adult or child. Please contact Revd Jacqueline who will arrange to meet with you. Please contact me if you have questions regarding baptism services during the pandemic.
Baptism Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What is the difference between baptism and christening?
A. None. They are just different words for the same thing.
Q. What is Baptism?
A. At a Baptism parents thank God for the gift of new life and make the decision to start their child on the journey of faith with the church’s support.
For the child, baptism marks the start of a journey of faith, which involves turning away from all that is evil, turning towards Christ and becoming a member of the local and worldwide family of the church.
Q. What happens at a Baptism?
A. Parents and godparents affirm the Christian faith and promise to do all they can to help the child grow up in that faith and to turn away from all that is evil.
Water is sprinkled on the child’s forehead. It is a symbol of the cleansing, refreshing, healing, purifying power of God’s love in our lives.
The child will be signed with the cross as we pray that they will have the courage to become a faithful follower of Christ.
The newly baptised will be given a lighted candle as a sign that from now on they belong to the family of the church which is inspired by the light and warmth of Christ’s life and love.
Prayers are said for the child and for the parents and godparents.
Q I am not a regular churchgoer can I still have my child Baptised?
A. Yes. The church believes that God’s love is available to everyone regardless of their background.
Q. What does being a godparent involve?
A. Godparents have a special role. It is about helping a child to come to know God, encouraging them in their spiritual life and supporting them in their membership of the church.
Godparents will be expected to attend the child’s baptism and make promises to help them to grow up in the Christian faith and way of life.
It is a role that will develop over time as the child grows up and develops their own faith.
Q. Do godparents become legal guardians?
A. No. The role of godparent is a spiritual one – to encourage and pray for their godchild.
Q. How many godparents does a child need?
A. The minimum number is two. Traditionally a boy has two men and one woman. A girl has two women and a man. The maximum number we recommend is four.
Q. How much does it cost to have our child baptised?
A. There is no charge for baptism. We are delighted to welcome your child into the church. We are also grateful to the many families who have had their children christened here and have chosen to make a donation towards the cost of keeping the church open and active. The average donation is £25. A gift aid envelope is provided for those who are tax payers
Q. How long will the service take?
A. About 40 minutes.
Q. Can we take photographs?
A. You are welcome to nominate one person to photograph from back of church. At the end of the service you are welcome to organise family group photos etc. around the font or elsewhere in the church.
Q. What will help most on the day?
A. Come early so that we can welcome you warmly and start on time.
Most of all don’t be too anxious. Allow yourself to relax and enjoy the occasion.