4. Baptism / Christenings

Can I have my child baptised at The Good Shepherd?

If you live in the local area, then you are welcome to have your children baptised (sometimes called ‘Christened’) at the Church.

When will the Baptism take place?

Baptisms usually take place during the 9:45am Parish Mass, or at another time if this is not possible.

What does Baptism mean?

Christians understand that in baptism we are ‘born again’ – made members of God’s family. Baptism is a sacrament, an outward sign of God’s love. God loves us all; he won’t punish us or stop loving us just because we haven’t been baptised, but through baptism we can experience and be made certain of God’s love.

What is the role of Godparents?

Children usually have three Godparents, two Godmothers and one Godfather for a girl or vice versa. But you can have as many as you like (within reason)! What is important is that in the service a Godparent promises to help set a Christian example to their Godchild, so all Godparents have to be at least baptised themselves, and preferably confirmed. (After all, you don’t ask someone who has never been in a car to teach you to drive!)

Should I have my child Baptised?

Some parents think that they should let their children make up their own minds, and not force their own beliefs on them. Parents, though, have to make decisions for their children right from birth – and the children’s wellbeing depends on those decisions being made. Children may not like their names or the clothes they wear; as they get older they can change or alter these. And it is the same with their faith.

When they are old enough, young adults can ‘confirm’ their baptism, by making the Baptismal promises for themselves. That is what ‘Confirmation’ is about. There is usually one confirmation service with the bishop every year. If you’re worried that you are making promises you think you can’t keep, or feel that you’re not strong enough in your faith, then don’t worry – most people are just like you. No one has a perfect or unshaken faith. No one can always live up to the promises that are made, because we are human. All we can do is to promise to try our best, and if and when we fail, we know that if we ask, God will forgive us, and we can try again.

Can adults be baptised too?

It is not just children who are baptised. Many young people or even older adults decide as they grow older that they would like to be part of God’s family, and they are baptised as well, and often decide to be confirmed. It’s never too late!

How much does it cost to have my child Baptised?

There is no charge for Baptism at all.

How can I find out more?

If you want your child to be baptised, or are considering baptism yourself, then please do contact the Fr Julian or the Churchwardens. What normally happens is some basic details are taken down, and an application form and a covering letter are sent to you. When you have completed the form (it provides all the details the church needs for registers and certificates), then please contact Fr Julian or the Churchwardens, and an arrangement will be made for someone to visit you at home and to talk about baptism and the service.