Baptisms in the Parish of St George and All Saints
We are always delighted to baptise or christen (these are different words for the same service) anyone who comes forward, young and old. Baptisms normally take place in our main morning service.
You can also find out more information about our Parish of St George & All Saints on this website, and you can also look at the link to the Church of England Christening web site here.
Baptisms in Church are usually held on the 4th Sunday in the month within the main services but please get in touch to have a chat with us, we look forward to welcoming you in our church.
Frequently asked questions:
I don't go to church regularly, will you baptise (christen) my child?
Yes of course! God's love is available to all, please get in touch!
How much does it cost?
Baptisms are FREE! In baptism, parents are thanking God for his gift of life and making a decision to start their child on a journey of faith, and asking for the support of the church to do this. We believe that God's love is available to all, regardless of background.
Who can get baptised at St George's?
If you live in the Parish of St George and All Saints, or are a regular attender at our church, we would be delighted to welcome you for baptism. Please talk to our Archdeacon and Vicar if you aren't sure.
Can I be baptised as an adult?
Yes, the Church of England baptises both children and adults, as we are all God's children! Usually adults seeking baptism are encouraged to explore a combined baptism and confirmation. You can be baptised at any age, but only once. People who would like to repeat their baptismal promises can do so in the ceremony of Confirmation.
I was baptised by a different church, do I need to be 're-baptised'?
The Church of England recognises all baptisms carried out in Christian churches that recognise the Trinity of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. If you join the Church of England from another Trinitarian church you do not need to be baptised again.
When do baptisms take place?
Generally we do baptisms in our main Sunday service, becuase they are a public declaration that your child has become part of the church family. It is important that the church congregation is there to support you, and to welcome your child. If you would prefer a baptism service at a different time, please come and talk to us.
What will happen at the baptism?
In baptism, your child is joining the family of the Church and will be welcomed into membership. In turn the Church will promise to support and pray for you and your child. You and your family, with any godparents will sit at the front of the Church during the service. Some parts of the service will involve the whole congregation, and some will be for you and the godparents. The baptism takes place in a font at the front of the Church, where parents and godparents are asked to gather. The font is a large basin on a pedestal, containing the water for baptism. The Vicar will ask the parents and godparents to make declarations on behalf of the child, and will let you know where you should sit or stand, or join in the service.
What do the symbols and actions used during the service mean?
A number of important symbols and actions will be used during the service. This includes:
- The sign of the cross - the Vicar will make a sign on your child's forehead. This is an invisible badge to show that Christians are united with Christ, and must not be ashamed to stand up for their faith in him.
- Water - the Vicar will pour water over your child's head. Water is a sign of washing and cleansing. In baptism if it a sign of being washed free from sin and beginning a new life with God. Water is also a symbol of life and death. When we are baptised, it is as though our old life is buried in the waters and we are raised to new life with Christ.
- Anointing - after baptism in water, the Vicar will anoint him or her with oil, which is a sign of outpouring of God's Holy Spirit.
- The welcome - the congregation in the church will say a big welcome to your child, to acknowledge that your child has joined the Church and to show how pleased they are to have you among them.
- Candles - Jesus is the Light of the World, and a large candle to represent Christ will be lit in the church. You will also be given a lighted candle at the end of the service as a reminder of the light which has come into your child's life.
How many Godparents do I need?
Ideally you should have at least three Godparents, two of the same sex as the child, and one of the opposite sex. Godparents can be family members or friends, however it is important that you choose people who will take an interest in your child's spiritual welfare and who will pray for you and your child.
What is the role of a Godparent?
Godparents make the same promises on behalf of the child being baptised as parents. Godparents promise to pray and support the child and to help the parents to bring up the child in the Christian faith. It is an important and responsible role. Being a Godparent is a special role, as it is about helping a child to come to know God, encouraging them in their spiritual life, and supporting them in their membership of the local church. Godparents will be expected to attent the child's baptism, where they will make their promises. Being a Godparent is a role that will develop over time, as the godchild grows up and develops their own faith.
What promises are made?
You will be asked to declare publicly on behalf of your child that you believe in God and that you will bring your child up to follow Jesus. You will be asked to declare that you turn away from everything that is evil or sinful and turn towards Christ. These declarations will be made by the parents and Godparents at the front of the church, before the whole congregation. The local Church and Christian community will promise to support you and pray for you and your child.
I have been christened, is this different to baptism?
No, baptisms are sometimes referred to as Christenings, but they are both the same thing with different names. The Church of England recognises all baptisms carried out in Christian churches that recognise the Trinity of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. If you join the Church of England from another Trinitarian church you do not need to be baptised again. Talk to us if you have any questions!
Is it possible to have a party or gathering to celebrate our child's baptism in church afterwards?
The Church building has a small space to the rear where refreshments are served. The congregation attend at refreshements and if you wish you may have your own additional food in this space. You may enquire about booking our Parish Hall here, if you wish to do this separately.