We are delighted that you are thinking of having your child baptised at St Mary’s. The birth of a baby is a very good time to think about the mystery of life and about what you want for your children.
Baptism (sometimes called Christening) is a sacrament, a visible sign of God’s love. It marks the beginning of our journey of Christian faith. When young children are baptised, their parents and godparents make promises on their behalf to bring them up within the Christian faith and to encourage them by their example to become followers of Jesus Christ.
Older children and adults can also be baptised and will make the promises for themselves. For them, baptism usually takes place at the same time as Confirmation after a short course of preparation in which they learn more about the Christian faith and the meaning of Baptism.
At St Mary’s, Baptisms always take place during one of our Sunday Morning Services, which begin at 10am. This is because baptism is not a private family celebration (although we hope your family and friends will want to attend), but a public event in which your child is welcomed into the Christian family. Usually there will be a gap of around three months between first contact with us and the Baptism Service, to give time for preparation. Baptisms do not take place in Lent (the six weeks leading up to Easter).
If you live in the parish and would like your child to be baptised (or to be baptised yourself), we ask that you come and visit us at our 10am Sunday Service on at least a couple of Sundays and then speak with the Rector, Canon Ann Nickson afterwards. If you don’t live in the Parish it may still be possible for your child to be baptised here if you attend St Mary’s regularly. Once you have attended St Mary’s on a couple of occasions, one of the clergy will arrange to visit you in your home in order to discuss the practicalities of the service and to talk more about the meaning of Baptism. There will also be a visit from members of our ‘Baptism Visiting Team’ most of whom are parents whose own children have been baptised here. If you would find it helpful, a short rehearsal can be held on the Saturday morning prior to the Baptism.
There is no charge for a Baptism, though donations are very welcome. If you would like to make a gift towards the work of the church you can do so using the link below or on the day.