- St Peter's Rectory
- Byers Green
- Co Durham
- DL16 7NL
Baptism OF YOUNG CHILDREN
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.
The Church of England has two authorized Baptism services but most baptisms, including those held at Byers Green St Peter’s Church, use a service in contemporary English.
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 one or two meetings with the priest in order to explore something of what Christians believe; to think about the promises that you will be making on behalf of your child and to plan the service.
We also encourage families to come along to our monthly services for young children and their parents. These take place on the 4th Sunday of the month from 11-11.45 am and provide an informal introduction into the life of our 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.
Most of the Baptism Service will take place at the front of the church, but for the baptism itself, parents and godparents will be asked to gather around the font at the back of church. (The font is a large basin on a pedestal, containing the water for baptism.) Children will also be invited to gather around the font so that they can see what is going on and the rest of the congregation will turn around in their seats so that they, too, can watch.
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 general requirement is that godparents need to have been baptized themselves.
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 the Priest in Charge of St Peter's Church and also your own parish priest.
Fees – 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. If your child is baptised during a regular Sunday morning service a collection is routinely taken for the mission of the Church. If your child is baptised outside the regular Sunday morning service we will place collection plates at the back of church and the priest, during the service, will invite your family and friends to make a donation on their way out of church.
Contact details of the Priest in Charge at Byers Green St Peter’s Church
The Revd Dr Caroline Friswell
St Peter's Rectory
Tel: 01388 609436