Congratulations! We are delighted that you are enquiring about baptism at St Dunstan’s or St Peter’s. Baptism is a precious and sacred thing – it is the unique moment where a human being becomes part of the Christian faith. Baptism is the central act of a Christening service, and anyone can get baptized, at any time of their life.
In Baptism, we have water poured over us as we are washed clean of the things we all sadly do in life which go against God’s loving desires for the world, and are ‘born again’ by God’s Holy Spirit. It is called a ‘sacrament’ – a physical ritual that imparts God’s grace to the person who receives it.
Where Can People Get Baptized?
In the Church of England, people are baptized in the church of the parish in which they live (a parish is a geographical area around a church). If you’re not sure which parish you live in, you can find out at https://www.achurchnearyou.com/. If someone regularly worships in a church that is not their parish church, or has a strong pastoral connection with another church, then they can get baptized there instead.
How Do I Arrange A Baptism?
If you would like to be baptized or have your child baptized, then please come along to our 10am service on a Sunday. This will give you a chance to experience our worship, and to meet the people who form our community of faith. After the service you can speak to Peter, our vicar, who will be able to take you through some preliminary details.
When do you hold baptisms?
Baptisms generally take place during the 10am Sunday Parish Eucharist. It is sometimes possible to hold a separate baptism service at 12noon, although dates for this are more limited.
How Do We Prepare for a Baptism?
Baptism is a wonderful moment in someone’s life, as it is the moment when someone is officially welcomed into the Christian faith. This is also a very important step, both for the person getting baptized, and their family. To help prepare for this, we encourage you to come to the weekly Sunday service. In the lead-up up to the Baptism, you will meet with the vicar to do some particular preparation for the service, where you can also ask any questions you might have and explore more about what Baptism will mean for you or your child.
How Do I Choose Godparents?
Godparents make promises on behalf of themselves and their godchild, to pray for them and encourage them to flourish in the Christian faith. Because of these promises and responsibilities, a godparent should be a practising Christian and must have been Baptized. Children usually have three godparents (sometimes four); two of the same sex as the child and at least one of the opposite.
I’m not sure about having my child baptized. Do you offer Dedication services?
Yes, we do. A dedication service is a wonderful opportunity to give thanks to God for the birth of a child, and to ask for his blessing upon them, and all who care for them. Please contact Peter our Vicar if you would like further details.
How Can I Find Out More?
The Church of England’s website https://churchofenglandchristenings.org is dedicated to all things baptism-related, and includes plenty of useful information.