Here you will find information relating to baptism. If you want
to know more please contact your local vicar.
What happens during the service?
Your child's Baptism will normally take place during the
main Sunday service (usually in the morning). This is so that your
child can be seen to be joining the family of the Church and be
welcomed into membership. In turn the Church will promise to
support and pray for you and your child.
The vicar will make sure you know where to sit and when you need
to move. Some parts of the service will be for everyone to join in
with, some will be for you and the godparents.
Part of the service will normally take place at the front of the
church, but for the Baptism itself, parents and godparents,
sometimes family and friends too, will usually be asked by the
vicar to gather around the font. (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
Making decisions and promises
When you bring your child for Baptism, 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 answer, on your child's behalf, that you
have decided to turn away from everything which is evil or sinful
and instead to turn towards Christ.
The declarations made by you and the child's godparents will be
made in front of the church congregation; the local Christian
community will promise to support you and pray for you and your
Symbols and actions used during the service
A number of important symbols and actions will be used during
the service itself:
- The sign of the cross - the vicar will make
the sign of the cross on your child's forehead. This is like an
invisible badge to show that Christians are united with Christ and
must not be ashamed to stand up for their faith in him.
The vicar says:
Christ claims you for his own.
Receive the sign of his cross.
Do not be ashamed to confess the faith of Christ
The vicar may also invite you and the godparents to sign the
cross on your child's forehead after he or she has done so.
- Water - the vicar will pour water on your
child's head. Water is a sign of washing and cleansing. In baptism
it is a sign of being washed free from sin and beginning a new life
Water is a sign of life, but also a symbol of death. When we are
baptized, it is as though our old life is buried in the waters
(like drowning) and we are raised to new life with Christ.
- Anointing - after baptism in water, the
minister may put the christening robe on the child and anoint him
or her with oil. This is a sign of the outpouring of God's Holy
The priest says:
May God, who has received you by baptism into his
pour upon you the riches of his grace,
that within the company of Christ's pilgrim people
you may daily be renewed by his anointing Spirit,
and come to the inheritance of the saints in glory.
- The welcome - the church congregation will say
some formal words of welcome to acknowledge that you child has
joined the Church and to show how pleased they are to have you
- Candles - Jesus is the Light of the World. A
large candle may be lit in the church and you may 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.