Your Child’s Christening!
It is great that you are interested in having your child christened!

Christening is an important decision for you and your child. It is something exciting. You are making a commitment that you want your child to be part of God’s family and part of a church family. And that you hope that your child will grow up and learn the great stories about Jesus and the good things he has done for you and me.

A Christening is another name for baptism.

WHAT HAPPENS?

There are different parts in the service which helps us understand what baptism is all about

Promises…
As parents and godparents you will make some important promises during the service – that you will care for your child, pray for them, help them become part of a local church, and show them how to be a Christian. The Church wants to help you fulfil these promises…

Decisions…
Christening has always been about Jesus – people who were baptised were saying they wanted to follow Jesus. As a parent or godparent, you will be saying that you too, want to turn from all that is bad and wrong, and turn to Jesus and make him number one in your life and to follow him.

The Cross…
For Christians, the cross reminds us of Jesus, and his death for each of us, a death that brings life and hope. We’ll make the sign of a cross on your child’s forehead and you’ll be able do this also.

And the Baptism…
The water bit! The minister will say: “I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.” A special moment for you and the family. Your child joins a worldwide family – over a billion people who are part of the Christian Church.

Questions people often ask…

Godparents? How many can I have?

For each child, no more than 4 godparents, but you can have less than four. Normally it is 2 godfathers and one godmother if the child is a boy; and two godmothers and one godmother if the baby is a girl. But at times it can be hard to know the suitable people – but no more than four godparents in total.

Godparents? Do they need to be christened themselves?

Yes – you cannot be a godparent unless you have been baptised. You don’t need to have been christened Church of England, you could be christened Methodist, Roman Catholic, Baptist, it doesn’t matter as long as it was a Christian Church.

What if a parent hasn’t been christened?

That is fine. Parents do not need to be christened. Only the godparents.

How do we book?

Easy! Come along to one of our Sunday services at 9.15am, and ask someone who greeted you, that you’d like to book a baptism. They will point you to the right person who will give you the booking form and help you to fill it in after the service.  The person will chat through what dates are currently possible to hold your child’s christening. The form asks questions like your child’s full name, names of godparents etc.The lady who handles the christening bookings is a Mrs Eileen Robertson  (01952 581705)- and she can answer all your queries.

Eileen will offer to sit down after the service over a cup of coffee and chat about what you have in mind, and help you complete the booking information form. The form asks questions like your child’s full name, names of godparents etc.We unfortunately do not take bookings over the phone – we ask couples to a 9.15am Sunday service to book.

We do ask parents who come to St Johns for christening to commit to come to three Sunday services, before their child’s christening. One of those services is when you first come to book, so between booking and the special day, we ask you to attend twice more. We feel this is an important preparation for you, and a way to get to know St John’s. Also, it is a good opportunity to bring along the godparents or the grandparents if they have not been to St Johns so they can see the church, meet the people. Parents can choose which services to come to – our first Sunday is normally baptism, our second and fourth Sundays are Communion services, and our third Sunday is our All Age Family Service which is especially toddler, baby and child friendly.

At St John’s we do have a lot of christenings, so we recommend that as soon as you have the information form and are sure of a date, to return that to Eileen before you leave the church so you can have a date booked in the diary. If you wait until you have all the godparents agreed, it is possible that another family may have contacted us and that date is no longer available.

Also, even if you are thinking of a christening later in the year, it is best to come along, get it booked even if it ages away. The danger could be, if you contacted us only a couple of months before your ideal month, maybe we don’t have any spaces left…

As you can see from our Services, we hold baptisms during the first Sunday of each month – however, occasionally other church celebrations, such as Easter, may come into that First Sunday and so we cannot host a baptism. Best to check when booking.

How many families have their children baptised in one service?

At our baptism services, we invite two families for each christening service. St John ‘s isn’t large enough to take more families.  Also, having only two families keeps the whole day more personal and special, than perhaps have many families and children in one service.

And, does a baptism/ christening cost anything?

No, we often are asked this. No, there is no fee.

Is that all?

Well, yes. A good idea, if you are booking a christening a few months in advance, is to come along to one of ourbaptism services, so you can see what we do and how we run this enjoyable service. The way we do it, may be different from other churches! Also, if your godparents have never been to St Johns before, bring them along with you a Sunday near the christening. It will make them feel less nervous and we can talk to them about where they would be standing etc…

And just a thought – if you are looking at a nearby venue for a reception, somewhere quite simple yet spacious – do have a look at our church hall which is at the bottom of our church grounds. It can hold 80 people standing and has a fully kitted out kitchen, toilets, baby changing facilities. If interested in booking it, or having a look, do mention it when talking with Eileen.

Nothing else?

Normally someone from the Church will be in contact with you to arrange a time for us to meet and to chat about the service. They will contact you nearer the date of your child’s christening…It is helpful to have the godparents there for that meeting to help them prepare for the special day and their special role in your child’s life.

Afterwards?

Because the vows are really important which parents and godparents make, we believe it can only help attending church to give you the tools you need to help nurture that faith in your child. It doesn’t and shouldn’t rely only on you to help your child understand things about Jesus and God. Through church, people grow spiritually, learn, and have others around them they can ask questions.

Each year, we run courses, such as the Alpha Course, which are good ways to go deeper and prepare for those questions children will ask us about God, church, Jesus as they get older.

All in all, going along to a local church is a great way to help you fulfill the promises you’ll make.

 

So we look forward to meeting you and your family on this special day!