Please read this document before filling in the form at the bottom of the page.
We are delighted you’re thinking of baptism for your child. Your child is precious to you and precious to God. At baptism, you promise to raise your child to know that God loves them and to help them to follow Jesus as a member of the Church.
What happens at the Baptism Service?
Baptisms (sometimes called Christenings) generally take place during the morning service. Two or Three times a year we hold extra services, outside of the main service at 12.45 pm, in any of the benefice churches. There can often be more than one family having a child baptised at the same time.
At Baptism, you and your child’s godparents publicly promise to do your best to raise your child to follow Jesus as part of the wider Church family. Representatives of the congregations welcome your child and promise to support, encourage and pray for him or her, and for you as a family.
During the service, the priest will ask you and the godparents to bring your child to the font which will be filled with the water for baptism. The priest will ask you to make some promises on behalf of your child. Then your child will be baptised and welcomed into the church.
During the baptism service, you and your child’s godparents answer six questions on behalf of your child. You declare your Christian faith in front of your family and friends and promise to help your child to follow Jesus.
The questions, with your responses in bold, are:
Do you reject evil? I reject evil.
And all its many forms? And all its many forms.
And all its empty promises? And all its empty promises.
Do you turn to Christ? I turn to Christ.
And put your trust in him? And put my trust in him.
And promise to follow him for ever? And promise to follow him for ever.
Do I have to be a regular churchgoer?
Our benefice believes that God loves everybody and that everyone is welcome at any of our churches. You don’t have to be a regular churchgoer to have your child baptised, but you do have to take the promises seriously as you will be making these promises before God. You will need to appoint three Godparents (Two of the same sex as the child and one of the opposite). Godparents ideally will have been Confirmed into the church or at very least Baptised (We will need to see their Baptism Certificates).
Thanksgiving for the Gift of a Child
If you don’t feel ready to make these promises, or you would prefer your child to make the promises for him or herself at a later date, then we offer a Thanksgiving Service for the Gift of a Child. In this service, you thank God for your child and the priest will pray a blessing on your child. However, you do not make the same promises as in the baptism service.
Baptism is also available for older children and adults who are ready to make these promises for themselves.
Arranging the Service
If you are interested in exploring a baptism or thanksgiving service for your child, please fill in the form at the bottom of this page.
Baptism Preparation: There will then be a meeting (held 4 times a year, most often online) of all the prospective Baptism Candidates (if not an infant), Parents and Godparents, where we will go through the service and explain what and why things are said and done in the way they are. (Dates and times of Baptism Preparations can be found at the bottom of this webpage)
Baptism outside the main service: If you are not having the Baptism during the main service, you will need to come to one of our regular services, a month beforehand, where you and/or the child will be welcomed by the congregation and receive the candle which will be used as part of the Baptism. (Dates and times of Baptism Services can be found at the bottom of this webpage)
The Church where the service will be held depends upon the initial enquiry for the date in question, as more than one family can expect to have their children baptised during one of these services.
Baptism during main Sunday service: For those wishing to have a service in one of our main services, the baptism will form a part of our regular holy communion service. (Dates and times of Baptism Services can be found at the bottom of this webpage)
A Full list of services can be found at the bottom of this web-page
Following on from the service: One Sunday following the service, we invite you to our Family service, where we will issue the Baptism Certificate and give the children a little gift from the church. This is usually on a second Sunday, at 4pm, at St Mary’s Twyford.
Choosing the right people as godparents for your child is a big decision. Here are some key things which might help you decide:
- Because of the very special role godparents have in supporting your child’s faith journey, they must be baptized themselves. Ideally they should be confirmed too, but check with the vicar about local policy on this.
- If the people who you’d like to be godparents aren’t baptized, they can still be involved in the christening service and in your child’s life as they grow up. Ask your vicar about this who’ll be pleased to advise.
- Godparents will be people who’ll be in touch with your family for many years to come. They may be relatives or friends of the family.
- They’ll be people who you know you can trust and who’ll be there for your child to talk about the bigger questions in life; questions about faith, hope and love.
- They should feel ready to make some big promises about faith for your child in church.
- Every child should have at least three godparents, two of the same sex and at least one of the opposite sex to your child. Although there is no official maximum number of godparents, three or four is usual. If you’d like more than that, talk to your vicar about the practicalities and they’ll be pleased to advise.
- Parents may be godparents for their own children, providing they have at least one other godparent.
- If you’re thinking about asking someone who is under 18 to be a godparent, talk to your vicar first. There’s no minimum age for godparents, but they must be mature enough to understand the responsibilities they’re taking on; your vicar can help you decide if this is the right choice for your child and the young godparent.
You can talk to your vicar about choosing godparents and involving them in the christening preparation too.
What does it cost?
We do not charge for a Baptism. However, saying this, contrary to widely held beliefs, the church does not receive any financial support outside of local fundraising. Nor, in Colden Common, do we receive any money from the hire of the Church rooms, which is a separate charity. Averaging our yearly expenditure, it cost us approximately £120 to run every service we do. We, therefore, ask you to consider a donation of at least half, if not all, that amount. In addition to this, we will also put a collection plate at the door for those who are able to add to it.