Yes, the Government has given permission for christenings to go ahead now, and your vicar will want to make your child's christening day beautiful and special, as well as safe for you, your family and friends, and church staff. The church may still therefore have some restrictions in place, such as a maximum capacity for that particular church, or some social distancing measures or masks, based on a risk assessment. If you have any worries about the safety of your child's christening, talking it all through together with the vicar in advance will help you understand the risks, so you know what to expect, and then agree on the best way forward on the day.
Church staff and volunteers are working very hard to ensure church buildings are clean and safe for everyone. Social distancing measures will be observed, so listen to the vicar’s advice about what needs to happen on the day. As well as being specially cleaned, hand sanitiser will be freely available in the church to all who come in, and when they leave.
Check with your vicar, who will help you work out the numbers. It will depend on the church’s capacity and what has been decided is a safe number for public worship in that particular church.
Opening the church on an additional day to the usual Sunday service requires additional cleaning before and afterwards. There will be some churches which can manage this, but others which can’t at the moment, so ask your vicar and see what they say.
Music can be played during usual Sunday worship services and at ceremonies. Talk to the vicar about music and they’ll be pleased to advise.
The purpose of a meeting before the service would be to help you all prepare for the christening and the promises that are going to be made, as well as talking you through what happens at the ceremony. The vicar will want to keep you safe, so please feel able to say if you would prefer him or her to wear a mask or keep at a safe social distance while the visit takes place. If you would feel more comfortable having a conversation online or on the phone, please do talk to your vicar about this.
Your vicar will be used to blessing and praying for people, including children and babies at a christening, without having to touch them. While we are all getting used to changing guidelines, please do talk to her or him about what you would like to happen. One option would be for you, the parents, to hold your child over the font (or if the child is older, they could stand with their head just over the font) so the vicar can baptise the child with water using a shell or another kind of scoop. Baptism can also be done by wiping water on the child’s forehead and this could be done with a small clean cloth dipped in the holy water, or a cotton wool ball dampened with the holy water.
There is also a point during the service when the vicar anoints the child’s forehead by applying a touch of oil in the shape of a cross. They can do this using a clean cotton bud or something similar.
They can certainly join in the service via video link and make the promises, but two godparents must be physically present at the service.
The christening cannot go ahead if the child, parents, the godparents who will be present, or the vicar test positive for Covid 19 or are asked to self-isolate. It will need to be postponed so that all those involved can recover or self-isolate. The vicar will understand this and will do all they can to help you find another suitable date.
If any of your guests test positive or are asked to self-isolate, they must not attend the service in person.
After July 19th 2021, there is no legal obligation to wear masks indoors, but some churches may still ask people to wear masks if, for example, they are in an area with a high infection rate or if vulnerable people are expected to attend the christening. Please do talk to your vicar about this and share any worries or concerns you might have.
Yes. A child or an adult can be baptised at any age.