Baptism (Christening) and Confirmation
Baptism (also called Christening) is the means by which someone becomes a member of the Church. In the Church of England we Baptise children and adults. The water of Baptism washes away sin and gives the gift of eternal life, making the person being Baptised part of the Body of Christ, the Church.
If you live in the parish or worship with us regularly - or if you would like to worship with us regularly - you are encouraged to bring your child for Baptism. We normally Baptise at an agreed time on a Sunday afternoon, but it is also possible to include the Baptism at the 10:15am Sung Mass on Sundays. You will need three Godparents, who should be Baptised and, ideally, also Confirmed, and regular Churchgoers themselves.
Godparents are required to assist and support and encourage their Godchildren in growing up to know and learn the Christian faith, and the truths and values which go with being a Christian. They are required, during the service, to make statements of their own personal beliefs in God, and their acceptance of belief in the Christian faith, and their practice of it. They need to be able to make these solemn promises and commitments with integrity.
Baptised children who are ready to affirm their own faith are encouraged to prepare for Confirmation in special classes designed for their age group (we normally prepare children for Confirmation from age 10 or upwards.) Most children make their First Communion when they are Confirmed.
Confirmation ("or laying on of hands upon those that are baptized and come to years of discretion", as the Book of Common Prayer explains it) is administered by a Bishop. It marks the adult ownership of the promises made at Baptism, connects you to the wider Church, and gives you the Gifts of the Holy Spirit: wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety and fear (i.e. respect) of the Lord (Isaiah 11.2). It is the normal route through which people are admitted to Holy Communion.
Confirmation takes place at various times throughout the year. If you are an adult seeking Baptism you may be Baptised and Confirmed at the same time. Adults do not need Godparents, as they are making the promises themselves, but they may have Sponsors if they wish.
If you are interested in the possibility of being Baptised or Confirmed, please make enquiries via the Churchwardens, who will arrange for you to discuss with our Clergy. (see the PEOPLE page)
There is no charge for Baptism or Confirmation - the gift of faith is free. However, there is a fee of £14.00 for issuing a certificate of baptism.