During a christening your child will be baptised with water. It’s the start of an amazing journey with God, parents, godparents, friends, family and the church.
Your child is precious to you and precious to God. You want the very best for them, and so does God. You want them to make right choices in life, for themselves and for others. A christening is just the beginning of this and so much more. Over the years to come, it’s a journey you’ll share together with your child by:
* Being there for your child to talk to about the bigger questions of life – questions about hope, faith and love.
* Praying for your child through the ups and downs of their faith journey.
* Showing them practically how to make those good choices in life.
* Helping them to learn more about their Christian faith, through their church and in other ways.
Choosing the right people as godparents for your child is a big decision. Godparents are not just special on the day, but for a child’s life, even when they are grown-up themselves. Godparents make big promises to encourage their godchild to grow in faith and commit to helping them understand how to live their life in a Christian way. Because of the very special role godparents have in supporting your child’s faith journey, they must be baptised themselves.
* Godparents 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.
* 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 our vicar first. There’s no minimum age for godparents, but they must be mature enough to understand the responsibilities they’re taking on; Rev Brenda can help you decide if this is the right choice for your child and the young godparent.
The parents and the godparents will make some important promises for the child in the service. Everyone promises to continue supporting the child from this moment. The vicar says:
‘…Will you support these children as they begin their journey of faith?’
Everyone present says: ‘…We will.’
Parents and godparents will be invited to stand at the front with the child and a special oil is used to make the sign of a cross on the child’s forehead. This is like an invisible badge to show that Christians are united with Christ. The vicar will say:
‘…Christ claims you for his own. Receive the sign of the cross.’
Water, which is blessed in the church’s font, will be poured over your child’s head by the vicar. This is the child’s baptism. It’s a sign of a new beginning and becoming a part of God’s family. The vicar says:
‘…I baptise you; in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.’
Jesus is called the light of the world. A candle is given to your child at the end of the christening as a reminder of the light which has come into your child’s life. The vicar says:
‘…Shine as a light in the world to the glory of God the Father.’
Continuing the Journey
There are lots of ways to continue the amazing journey of faith as a family. It’s not just about special times, but about the ordinary times of wonder, love and joy – and the times when things go wrong. The candle given at the christening reminds us that a child shines as a light in the world – and also that God is always with us.
* If you would like to book a baptism, please attend our weekly Office Hour at church every Thursday from 6pm – 7pm.
* Your child’s baptism can take place on the first or third Sunday of the month at either 11.30am or 12.30pm.
* We have capacity for 100 of your family and friends. Please be aware that there may be another family sharing the service with up to 100 guests in addition to yours.
* In order to help prepare parents and godparents who are bringing children for baptism, we will invite you and your godparents to a Baptism Preparation session at church. This is usually on the last Wednesday of the month before your baptism at 7pm. It is an opportunity to meet Rev. Brenda, as well as other parents and godparents preparing for baptism, and it is expected to last no more than an hour.
* The work of St Francis of Assisi Church in the heart of the community of Ingleby Barwick is dependent on the generosity of those who give their time, energy and money to make our work possible, to maintain our building and reach out to the wider community with the love of God. There is no charge to have your child baptised, however, If you would like to support St Francis of Assisi Church, then your kindness would be most gratefully received.
* If you have any questions please contact our Vicar, Rev. Brenda Forrester, or our Parish Administrator on:
We look forward to welcoming you and your family and friends to
St Francis of Assisi Church, Ingleby Barwick.