During a christening your child will be baptised with water. It’s the start of an amazing journey of faith for your child and a special day for all your friends and family.
Your child is precious to you and precious to God. You want the very best for them, and so does God. You want them to make right choices in life, for themselves and for others.
A christening is just the beginning of this and so much more.
Over the years to come, it’s a journey you’ll share together with your child by:
Being there for your child to talk to about the bigger questions of life – questions about hope, faith, and love.
Praying for your child through the ups and downs of their faith journey.
Showing them practically how to make those good choices in life.
Helping them to learn more about their Christian faith, through their church and in other ways.
So, it’s a commitment to start as you mean to go on.
Can I or my child be baptised at St Margaret's?
We are delighted to conduct baptisms for adults and children who, after proper preparation, decide it is right for them or their children. Most baptisms are for people who either live in the parish or who are regular worshippers with us (or both). Ideally people who live locally or intend to make St Margaret's their home church. If you live a long way away, we encourage you first to give proper consideration to using your local church.
What is involved for infant baptism?
Baptism takes place in one of our regular Sunday services currently at 10am. So, the first step to preparing for the baptism of your child is to come along and worship with us and get to know the community of the church which your child will be baptised into. After you've introduced yourself at church and become a regular worshipper with us on a Sunday, we will send you a form to complete and a booklet entitled “Making the most of your child’s baptism”.
We will also arrange a visit by one of our team where we will spend some time talking through what you believe and discussing the promises made in the baptism service. We find that the preparation gives understanding about baptism and also helps families to get to know us and vice versa.
With infant baptism, parents and godparents have to make important promises before God; promises to be followers of Jesus Christ, to teach children about the Christian faith and to bring your child regularly to church. Ideally both parents are willing to make these promises. If not, we ask for the agreement of both to go ahead with the service. After this initial meeting a member of the team will be in touch to arrange the date of baptism and to answer any remaining questions you may have.
What about baptism as an adult?
Young people and adults are also welcome to be baptised if they would like to be – you are never too old!
Godparents are really important. It’s a lovely way of drawing special friends into your family. Choosing them is one of the biggest decisions you will make. Godparents also make the promises and decisions in the service and receive a certificate to confirm their new role!
Here are some key things which might help you decide:
Because of the very special role godparents have in supporting your child’s faith journey, they must be baptised themselves. Ideally, they should be confirmed too.
If the people who you'd like to be godparents aren't baptised, they can still be involved in the christening service and in your child's life as they grow up.
Godparents will be people who’ll be in touch with your family for many years to come. They may be relatives or friends of the family.
They’ll be people who you know you can trust and who’ll be there for your child to talk about the bigger questions in life; questions about faith, hope and love.
They should feel ready to make some big promises about faith for your child in church.
Every child should have at least three godparents, two of the same sex and at least one of the opposite sex to your child. Although there is no official maximum number of godparents, three or four is usual.
Parents may be godparents for their own children, providing they have at least one other godparent.
If you’re thinking about asking someone who is under 18 to be a godparent, talk to a member of the team first. There’s no minimum age for godparents, but they must be mature enough to understand the responsibilities they’re taking on.
What if we decide we can't make the promises?
All is not lost! We can offer a service of Thanksgiving for the Gift of a Child. This is a special church service, different from a christening and can be used as a way to say thank you to God for your child and ask for his blessing for him or her. You can have sponsors, and we will give you a certificate to mark the occasion. This service does not require you or the sponsors to make any promises.
You might also choose this service when your baby is just born, or if you have adopted a child into your family and you simply want to celebrate this with special words said by a vicar in church. Whatever the reason, we would be delighted to talk to you about this service.
For more information, please contact our Parish Administrator. You are also welcome to chat with clergy or other church leaders when you come to worship at church.