We are delighted that you are thinking of having your child baptized. 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 is Baptism?
In baptism, you as parents are doing a number of things: thanking God for the gift of new life; making a decision to start your child on the journey of faith and asking for the Church’s support.
For your child, baptism marks the start of a journey of faith which involves turning away from all that is evil, turning towards Jesus Christ and becoming a member of the local and worldwide Christian family.
What happens before the service?
We take baptism very seriously and we want you to have a good understanding of what baptism involves before taking this big step. So you are normally expected to attend baptism preparation along with the godparents around a week before the service. This meeting will be an opportunity to look through the service booklet, and what the different parts of the service mean and the promises you will make on the day. You may decide that a service of Thanksgiving for a Child* is more appropriate.
We also encourage families to come along to our services which are held every Sunday at 9.15am. During each service there are children’s activities in church
The Baptism Service
Your child’s baptism will normally take place after the main Sunday morning Communion Service so that we can focus our full attention on your child and what baptism means. For some children it is more appropriate for the baptism to be included as part of the main Sunday morning service.
What is a Service of Thanksgiving service?
During the Baptism service we ask parents and godparents to make some lifelong promises to God. We are aware that some people might not feel comfortable with this but do want to say thank you for the gift of a child. We therefore offer a service of Thanks Giving. This can be a private service at home or more public and held in church. The child is named and blessed, surrounded by family and friends but not Baptised.
It is usual to have three godparents: two of the same gender as your child and one of the other gender. However, if you wish to have one or two more godparents, that is fine. The only requirement is that godparents need to have been baptised themselves.
If you have friends who are not baptised and you would like them to take a special part in the service and your child’s life, then they can be involved as a sponsor (please speak to the priest in charge Barbara Hilton, or curate when booking the baptism)
Who can apply?
Anyone who lives in the parish of Byers Green is able to seek baptism for their child. If you have family connections with St Peter’s Church but do not live in the parish, you may still be able to have your child baptized in our church. However, you will need to discuss this with our Priest in Charge Barbara Hilton of St Peter’s Church and you may need to speak to your own parish priest as well.
The Church of England does not
charge fees for baptisms. However, there
are costs involved to the Church in holding a baptism service and so all
donations are gratefully received.
For more information please see our contact details for our Priest in Charge Barbara Hilton.