Baptism (Christening) of babies and children
You may be thinking of having your child baptised, and this page sets out a few important things about Christian Baptism.
WHAT DOES BAPTISM MEAN?
Baptism (which is also known as Christening) is a sign that God loves and cares for your child, and that he is calling them to know him and follow him.
It marks the beginning of belonging to the Church - the beginning of a journey with the people who have decided to follow the way of Jesus.
WHO IS INVOLVED?
At their baptism, children are usually too young to make up their own mind about their faith, and so parents and godparents speak for them.
Parents and godparents take on the responsibility of doing all they can to bring the child to faith in Jesus. They do this through their own prayers, their example and their teaching, and during the Baptism Service they will publicly commit themselves to this, with the help of God.
The Church family for their part commit themselves to pray for and support you and your child in the years ahead.
None of us can ever claim to be perfect, or to have ‘made it’ in our life of faith. By having your child baptised you are acknowledging that you, like all of us, are somewhere on that journey of faith, and that you want your child to follow too.
A few notes:
1. Baptisms usually take place at St Peter’s Church on Sundays at 12 Noon. There may be up to two families present. Alternatively, baptisms may take place at the Family Communion Service (First Sundays – 10 am), if this is more appropriate.
2. It is normal for baptisms to take place in the parish in which you are resident, or in which you normally worship.In some circumstances is it possible for non- residents to arrange a baptism – and this is done after consultation with your own local parish priest.
3. It is usual to have three godparents, two of the same sex as the child, and one of the opposite sex. It is desirable that the godparents should themselves have been baptised, though this is not insisted upon. It is however important that godparents will be willing to take an interest in the growth of their godchild in the Christian faith.
If you would like to think about this further, or arrange for a baptism, please email or telephone Fr Tim, and he will be pleased to help:
The Vicarage, St Peter’s in the Fields, Braintree, CM7 9AR
Tel: 01376 349267
With thanks and very best wishes.