Here are some answers to commonly asked questions. Feel free to contact us if there are any further questions that you would like to ask or speak with the Vicar when you meet.
A. Essentially there is no difference. Baptism is the process of either being immersed in water (for adults) or sprinkled with water (for children). Christening was originally a word used to describe the moment within the baptism service when the child was named. Nowadays, people often use them interchangeably. If you want a ‘Christening’ and the Vicar says ‘Baptism’, don’t worry – you’re talking about the same thing!
A. There is a great deal to be said for having the Baptism during the church’s main service on Sunday mornings. In Baptism, you are making a public declaration that you or your child have become part of the church family. It is important that the church congregation is there to support you and welcome your child. If you decide to have a ‘private’ service, then we ask you to come back to the next All-Age so that we can welcome you then and present the Baptism certificate.
A. Baptism can happen at any age. What matters is that those concerned believe it is right to ask for baptism. Adults and children who are older than four will be expected to answer for themselves and so must be willing to be baptised and able to express their own Christian faith.
A. Both baptism and thanksgiving services are free because God’s love to us is free! However, we do ask for a small donation to help cover some of our ancillary costs. £25 is the basic charge, which covers the nationally agreed charge for a Baptism Certificate and some of our costs in providing items within the service. During winter months, we ask for a further donation of £10 for ‘private services’ only in order to cover the additional costs of heating the church.
A. You can only be baptised once, but there are ways of renewing your Christian commitment publicly as an adult and we would be happy to discuss those options with you.
A. Potentially yes. If you regularly attend church here, then of course it makes sense to have the service of Baptism or Thanksgiving here. If you don’t regularly attend church here, we would encourage you to consider having the service at your local church since the Church of England website notes that part of Baptism is about ‘asking for the Church’s support’ and also ‘becoming a member of the local and worldwide Christian family’. Both of which are pretty much impossible to do if you are not in church and don’t live locally. If you live outside the parish and did want to pursue Baptism, it would only be feasible after six months of regular attendance. At that point, we could look again with integrity at your request for Baptism.
A. Yes. The Church believes that God’s love is available to all, regardless of their background and every church in the Church of England has a duty to baptise all those who desire it. Having said that, if you don’t go to church regularly and don’t feel you can, in all integrity and honesty, make the promises that a Baptism demands then you might either want to look at the Thanksgiving service as a better option for you and your child or ask the Vicar to help you ‘prepare’ for Baptism in a more detailed way to help you get ready for the service.