BAPTISM in the Church of England
When you contact us, we will arrange a time to meet with you in your home. This will be the occasion to discuss the meaning of baptism for your child and to answer any specific questions that you may wish to have answered. In the meantime, below is a series of questions that people often wish to have answered first of all. Greater detail about the meaning of baptism is also available at http://www.cofe.anglican.org/lifeevents
When are services held in this parish?
In this parish, baptisms are conducted as part of the main service on the 1st Sunday in every month at 10.30 am .
How long is the service?
About one hour. The Baptism element is about 10 minutes.
Why is it held in the main service?
The Church is the community of those who seek follow Jesus Christ. Baptism is the welcoming of a person into that fellowship. The service includes a formal welcoming of the new member, and this can only be sincerely done when the “body” of Christ’s people is present.
How many godparents should we have?
You don’t have to have any! Parents can even double as godparents. The tradition is however to have two of the same gender as the child, and one other. If you are going to have godparents, it is far more important to get the right people for whom the practice is meaningful, and who will be a genuine Christian influence upon your child as he or she grows up.
Where should we sit?
Anywhere in the church. The Baptism is part of the service on these occasions; and parents and godparents (and your child!) will be asked to come to the font at the appropriate time. Other children are coming. What should we do with them? On first Sundays, the sermon is a lighter “all age” type of address, and will (we hope) be of some interest to the children. It is a good idea however to let them bring a book or (non-noisy) toy if this will help them. Please don’t worry too much. If a child does cry or start making excessive noise, just go out into the porch with them. You can see into the church from there. This is a family occasion – in every sense – so we want to welcome young ones.
What about Sunday School?
We have a small Sunday School which meets on the second and fourth Sunday during the main morning service. They meet in the Church Rooms at the back of the church complex at 10.30 a.m. In its place on 3rd Sundays, there is no Sunday School at 10.30 a.m. ; but – instead – a short (25 – 30 minute) service in church takes place at 9.30 a.m. which is specifically for young children and their families.
Does it cost anything?
No. In the service itself however, there is an opportunity to give (along with the rest of the congregation) to the costs of maintaining the church and its full time ministry in the parish. This includes our contribution to the maintenance of full-time and part-time ministry across the Diocese as a whole. There are envelopes in the pews that encourage people to give under the national GIFT AID scheme. Please use one of these envelopes if you can. This means that the church will be able to recover the Income Tax that you have already paid on that amount.