We are pleased that you are thinking of baptism for your child, this page tries to answer some of the most frequently asked questions about baptism at St John’s . (Christening and baptism are the same thing, just different names for the same service.)
Can my child be baptised/christened?
YES! Everyone has a right to baptism, no matter what their circumstances. (You can only be baptised once!)
Can we have the service at St.John’s Church?
Baptism usually takes place in your local parish church. If you live in St John’s parish, then your child can be baptised at St.John’s (parish boundaries are odd things so ring the rector to find out if you live within the boundaries). If you are not in St John’s parish then we can put you in touch with your local church. If you would still like the baptism at St.John’s Church then we will need to get permission from your local church before doing the baptism, this usually only happens if there is a strong link with St.John’s or some other good reason.
When will the service be?
9.30 a.m. Baptisms are usually booked 2 or 3 months in advance.
What is the service like?
The 9:30am service has hymns, communion, and a richer but more formal ceremony that lasts about an hour and fifteen minutes.
Children are welcome at all our services.
We will visit (or you come to us) before the service to talk in more detail about what happens.
What about godparents?
Godparents make promises with the parents, for the child and for themselves.
Godparents should all have been baptised, and they should be adults.
Godparents should be people who will be around for your child, people who might be able to help them as they grow and learn, especially to help them grow in faith.
There is no magic number of godparents, once you have the right people, then that is the right number. Three or four is the average: two is fine if they are the right people. With two godparents there should be one of either sex, with three it is usual to have two of the same sex as the child.
What if I don’t usually go to church?
At the baptism parents and godparents make promises, we will talk them through with you before the day.
Parents bringing a child for baptism promise to bring the child up “as a Christian within the family of the church.” You might want to ask yourself if this is the moment to deepen your own spiritual life.
The decision on baptism is up to the parent; we will explain the promises, but we won’t “test” you or judge you. Some parents simply want to give thanks for the birth of their child and celebrate the new life, there is a service for this called a “Thanksgiving”.
What is a “Thanksgiving Service”?
Sometimes parents want to give thanks for the birth of their child, and to celebrate the new life, but do not want baptism, maybe because they cannot make the promises in good conscience, or so that their children can choose for themselves when they are older. In this case there is a service called “Thanksgiving for the Birth of a Child” that we can offer.
If you want to know more about this, get in touch.
What if we are not married, or are divorced, or a one parent family?
We understand that families come in all shapes and sizes. We try not to judge or discriminate, we are honoured that you want to be with us on this important day in the life of your child.
Can we take pictures/videos?
Yes, it is fine to take photos during the baptism itself but please not during the rest of the service. If you want us to pose for photos after the service, then that is fine too, just ask.
This is an important part of any event nowadays. St.John’s does not have its own car park and sometimes parking can be difficult. If your guest can’t find a place to park in the street the Sainsbury’s pay car park five minutes walk away always has spaces on a Sunday morning
How much does it cost?
Baptism is free, God’s gift to every human, we do not expect any payment.
There will be a collection at the service, and if you want to make a donation to the work of St. John’s then we welcome that. If you are a tax payer you can gift aid your donation. Gift Aid costs the giver nothing but the church gets an extra 20p for every pound that is given.