“…go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age..” [Matthew 28:19-20]

We’re delighted you want to know about the possibility of baptism at one of our churches.

Christian baptism takes one of two forms. Its either a choice an adult makes for themselves, or a choice an adult makes on behalf of a child, until such time as the child is in a position to make a choice for themselves.

Either way, the heart of baptism is not the ceremony, but the decision taken to become a follower of Jesus Christ. The ceremony of baptism is a visible and public sign of this decision and a choice to identify with a particular church community. Part of the ceremony involves the church community welcoming the baptism candidate – so except in exceptional circumstances baptisms will usually form part of the main Sunday service.

If you are already worshipping regularly with us and want to be baptised or would like your child to be baptised, please speak to your clergy directly – the end of a service is a good time. If you aren’t regularly worshipping with us, the first step is to contact our baptism coordinator, (or for St James, Welland: Mary Purser) who will usually ask you to fill in and return a baptism application form. Please follow the instructions below to download and return an application form.

  • Infant Baptism Application Form.  (Note, please don’t open the form in your browser. Instead, save to your computer by right-clicking the link and choosing “Save Link As”. Then fill in the document on your computer, save it, and email it to admin@hopechurchfamily.org. If you do not already have Adobe Reader, you may need to install it – it’s free, just click here!)
  • Adult Baptism Application Form (Note, please don’t open the form in your browser. Instead, save to your computer by right-clicking the link and choosing “Save Link As”. Then in the document on your computer, save it, and email it to admin@hopechurchfamily.org. If you do not already have Adobe Reader, you may need to install it – it’s free, just click here!)

Baptism Frequently Asked Questions…

1) Can I choose the date I want the baptism to take place on?
Whilst we will do our best to accommodate you, we cannot make any guarantees. Not all of our churches have services each week, and even when they do, not all of our services are suitable for a baptism to take place in them. Please don’t book a reception venue until we’ve agreed a date for the baptism. We’ll generally agree the date as part of your baptism preparation course.
2) Can I have a private baptism?
The Church of England’s laws state that baptisms should take place as part of a church’s main public worship, not a private ceremony. The reason we do this is that baptism is not so much a naming ceremony as a membership ceremony, a time in which a child (or adult) is welcomed into God’s people, the church. That can only happen properly if the regular worshipping congregation is present. If this is something you are not comfortable with, please talk to the vicar you do your baptism preparation with about the possibility of a Thanksgiving Ceremony instead.
3) What preparation do I have to do for baptism?
In the baptism ceremony, parents make three very big promises to God, their families and the church, all on behalf of their children: (i) I turn to Christ, (ii) I repent of my sins and (iii) I renounce evil. To ensure you understand these promises, the vicar taking the service will invite you to a short baptism preparation course. This will normally involve several couples and several meetings. Towards the end of the course, we’ll talk with you about possible dates for the baptism.
4) Who should I choose as my godparents?
The Church of England’s national guidance on godparents is as follows:

  • 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.
  • Because of the very special role they have in supporting your child’s faith journey, godparents must be baptized themselves. Ideally they should be confirmed too, but check with the vicar about local policy on this. If your godparents have not been baptised, it’s likely that they will need to come to the Baptism Preparation classes also, and be baptised prior to the baptism of your child.
  • 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..
5) Do you charge for baptisms?
There is no charge for a baptism, though we do occasionally make a small charge for the baptism certificate. Discuss this with the vicar who takes your baptism.
6) Which of your churches can we have a baptism in?
We’d normally encourage you to have your child baptised in your local parish church (you can find which ecclesiastical parish you live in by clicking here. If you live in one parish but normally worship in another (or have a family connection to another) please tell us this when you complete the application form.
7) Where can I find out more about baptism?
We’ll talk more about the meaning of baptism as part of the preparation process. You may find the information here helpful also.
8) Is there a difference between a baptism and a christening?
No, in the Anglican tradition, baptism and christening are two words for the same thing. Read more here.
9) What's the process for applying for a baptism and how long will it take?
Start by downloading and filling in the application form mentioned above and send it to our baptism coordinator (admin@hopechurchfamily.org). Once we have your form we can work out which church (and possibly which vicar) will take the baptism, and then preparation for the service can begin. You’ll normally arrange to visit the vicar taking the service. Depending upon the time of year it may then take a one to three months to organise a preparation course. So overall the process from application to baptism may take 3-4 months (though can sometimes be shorter). It’s best to apply sooner rather than later.
10) Are there gifts or bibles that you'd recommend relatives buy as gifts for children?
Sometimes friends or family may want to buy a Bible for a child being baptised. We’ve found some of these Bibles are particularly good for children.

For a child that enjoys reading, try these modern Bible translations:

For younger children, try these bibles:

 

 

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