Having a child is marvellous, and a life changing experience. It is also hard work. Baptism (also known as Christening) gives an opportunity to thank God for the gift of the child, to ask his blessing and his strength. It is an opportunity to celebrate, to come together as family and church – and to have a party.
At St Matthew’s baptisms usually take place on the third Sunday of each month at 11.30 am, and at St Edmund’s on the fourth Sunday (though we can be flexible and usually manage to find a date and time which works for everyone). We usually baptise one or two babies (never more than two). The service lasts about half an hour. In baptism we are starting a lifetime’s journey with God – a journey that thousands commit themselves on a regular basis. You are making this journey with millions across the world. As parents and Godparents you will be asked “Will you care for them, and help them take their place within the life and worship of Christ’s church?” – if an individual is to discover the new life that Jesus offers they need to learn about His life and see what the Christian faith means in action. Parents and Godparents promise help and support during this journey of discovery. Through their prayers and by example, they promise to draw those being baptised into the community of faith and walk with them in the way of Christ. It is normal to have three or four Godparents, and they must have been baptised themselves.
To enquire about a Baptism, please phone Jo our Administrator on 01332 552031 or Peter the Vicar on 01332 551404. Sometimes we do get booked up for several months in advance – so don’t leave it too long! However, there is no age limit – so don’t feel guilty if you haven’t got round to it. Once the date is fixed you will be sent a form to complete, then Peter will be in touch a few weeks in advance of the service and will come and see you beforehand. There is no charge for baptism – but we do ask for a donation.
We are also happy to baptise older children and adults, and offer Confirmation for teenagers and adults – where the individual “confirms” the promises made for them at Baptism. We sometimes arrange for a child’s baptism at their parents’ wedding – which can be ideal when you’ve got everyone together for a celebration. We also offer a Service of Thanksgiving if you don’t want to make the promises required by Baptism, but still want to celebrate your child’s birth.
After Baptism we keep in touch with you, and hope you’ll become part of the life of the church – we recommend our All-Age Services and JACK and Kids’ Church.
For more information about baptism, click here for the Church of England’s website.
William was baptised on Sunday 19 February 2017. Here he is with mum and dad Rachel and Luke after the service. (William is a regular member of St Matthew’s church – now with his little sister).