Jesus was baptised in the River Jordan by his cousin John and Jesus told his disciples to go out into the world teaching faith and baptising. Some churches will only baptise those who can make a faith decision for themselves, but the Church of England has always baptised children as well as adults.
Christening and Baptism is the same thing and is an entry into the Christian Church as well as a wonderful way of celebrating the gift of new life.
If after reading the rest of this information, you would like to organise a Christening or Baptism please contact Lisa Neale, Parish Administrator.
What is christening?
In the early church, adults who came to believe the Christian faith would be baptised in a river to wash away their old life and put on the new. An adult baptism has great symbolism - going down in the water dying to the old life - and rising up again out of the water into a new life.
In the early church, whole families would be baptised together as they began their new journey in faith.
Throughout the history of the Church of England most people in most places attended their parish church or chapel. When they had a baby they would bring their child to be 'Christed' - to be accepted into their faith and their church.
It is only in the last 50 years or so that the majority of people in Britain are no longer regular attendees at church. It would be logical to think that Christening was no longer important. But if it wasn't important to you, you probably wouldn't be reading this information.
We still believe that Christening is very important. But it is often misunderstood. Parents who choose Christening for their children are making faith promises to God on their behalf and promises to God are never to be taken lightly.
Parents and Godparents promise to:
If this is what you want to do, then Christening is right for your family.
Parents and Godparents
Parents and Godparents make faith statements on behalf of the child in the service, in effect renewing their own Baptism/Christening vows. If parents haven't been Christened/Baptised themselves then we would ask that they seriously consider getting baptised alongside their child. People who do this find it very meaningful. Godparents have been baptised. However, we do ask parents to make sure that Godparents are willing to make public statements of faith and intend to keep their promises as best they can.
Children and Church
All of our churches try to be child friendly and all of our children's workers have been through Child Protection procedures. We like children to be children and happily accommodate babies who fall asleep in sermon, toddlers who toddle, and children who want to worship God as children. When children are in church, a part of the service is just for them and there is either a family corner or a children's group in each church.
However, we do welcome people of all ages and ask parents to be aware of people who may have had a hard week and who need a bit of peace and quiet. There is room for all!
Services of Thanksgiving
If all of this is asking for more faith than you have then, if you would like, we can arrange 'A Service of Thanksgiving' after the birth of your child, which celebrates birth and new life, but stops short of faith, promises and commitment.
Christenings are held in the afternoon of the 1st Sunday in the month (unless parents especially ask for a Baptism during a main church service)
Because we have seven churches, the choice may sometimes have to be made between a certain month and a certain church, e.g. one month Waltham, next month Scalford, but we will do our very best to be accommodating.
We ask you to check that important people who you want to be present are available before you set the date.
There may only be one child to be baptised, but there may be two or three. There is no fee involved but we do put a plate at the door and ask that any donations to the church be Gift Aided if possible.
If you live outside our parishes we ask that you consult your local Vicar first to check that they have no objections to you 'coming elsewhere'.