Baptisms & Christenings

We will be excited to welcome you for a christening!

Here you will find information firstly about how to book your christening and then a helpful Questions and Answers section about Baptism more generally and a link for a website with further information.

Booking Your Christening 

The first thing will be to book a date and time. We only offer Christenings on a Sunday, but not the 1st Sunday of the month (Other days might be considered in exceptional circumstances). The majority of our christenings are 1pm, however you can have a christening at our 9am Sunday service if:

       - You have thirty or fewer guests

        - It is a 3rd or 5th Sunday in the month.

Moreover if your child is enrolled at Sutton Lower School and is therefore a regular at Shine Together we can explore the possibility of having them baptised at that service.

Things to Consider as You Plan Your Christening 

There is a lot to think about when organising your childs baptism. Here are some key things to know and think about: 

The godparents you choose must themselves be baptised. If this is not possible they can be a sponsor instead or we can explore getting them baptised in preparation.

From the 5th of February 2023 onwards you will be required to attend one of our baptis preperation sessions. However do not worry these sessions will be short, interactive and fun! More details can be found below.

There is no fee associated with baptism, but we do ask that you consider making a donation to your chosen church.

So how do you book? - Please contact our bookings officer at [email protected] to get your date. You’ll then meet the Rector at a later date.

Baptism Preperation Sessions 

From the 5th of February 2023 onwards we will require all Christening families to undertake Baptism Preparation, but as per above, it is not as onerous as it sounds! This will be a session of about an hour and a quarter at our sister church St. Marys Potton and could be with other Christening Families.

We will be running these sessions once a month on the first Sunday of the month at 12 noon (EXCEPT 1st Sunday of August). Please contact Rev. Alex to let him know which month you will be attending. (Also, theses sessions take place after St. Marys All Age Family and Friends service at 10:30am, so you might like to come along to that as well)

A Helpful Questions and Answers Section 

1. What is the difference between a baptism and a christening?

There is no difference between a christening service and a baptism service. Some churches will use the word 'baptism' and some the word 'christening'. Babies are 'baptised' during a 'christening' service just as couples are 'married' during a wedding service.

Christening is a traditional English word which means to become a member of the Christian church. Baptism means to be immersed in water. During a christening service a baby or child will be baptised with water and welcomed into the community of the local church.

2. What is baptism?

"Baptism marks the beginning of a journey with God which continues for the rest of our lives, the first step in response to God's love." It is also a celebration, a time to come together with family and friends; remembering that your child is loved by God, is part of a wider community and has a place with God's people.

3. What happens in the service?

Christenings are services replete with symbols for new life. At your baby's christening water will be blessed and used to pour on the baby's head. The baby will be signed with the cross, a special oil may be used for this, and a candle may be given. Godparents and parents will make promises on behalf of the baby, and prayers will be offered for the baby and the family. There may also be readings and hymns, which you may like to choose.

4. Does a christening give my baby a name?

No. Your baby's name is given when you register the birth. During the baptism, the baby's name will be used often, and when the water is poured over the child's head, the vicar will always use the name.

5. Who is allowed to have a christening service?

The Church of England welcomes all babies, children and families - whatever shape that family takes. You do not have to be married to ask for a christening for your child. You do not have to be an active churchgoer - as parents, you do not even have to have been christened yourselves. Everyone is welcome at their local church.

6. Where can I hold the christening?

You can have your baby christened at your local parish church. If you want to have the christening at a different church, for example, where you grew up or where you were married, you will need to talk to the vicar at that church.

7..How old is too old?

You can have your baby or child christened at any age. There is no upper age limit, but at school age your child should be able to make the promises for themselves and so no Godparents will be required.

8. What are godparents?

The involvement of godparents can be one of the most joyful parts of the christening.

Godparents are not necessarily the people who will care for your child should anything happen to you. Rather they should be people who will be there for your child and help them think about the bigger questions in life - questions of love, hope and faith.

Every child should have three godparents, usually two of the same sex as the child. Parents may be godparents for their own children, providing they have at least one other godparent.

Godparents must be baptised themselves and old enough to make serious promises on behalf of the child.

See here for more information on Church of England Christenings: