Thank you for your interest in having a christening service at St Lawrence’s. If you are thinking about having your child baptized, then this is the page for you! If you are an adult who is thinking about being baptized, please use the form at the bottom of the page to contact us for more details!
Christening? Baptism? What’s the difference?
There is no difference between a christening service and a baptism service. Some churches will use the word ‘baptism’ and some the word ‘christening’. Babies are baptized during a christening service just as couples are ‘married’ during a ‘wedding’ service.
Who can have a christening at St Lawrence’s?
In line with the rules of the Church of England (known as canon law) we are able to welcome anybody who lives within the Parish of St Lawrence the Martyr, or is a member of the church (a member of the church is somebody who attends regularly). If you are not sure if you live in the parish, you can find out by visiting the A Church Near You website – just click here and enter your postcode. If you live outside the parish but already have a connection with the church, that should be fine but we will need to talk to you first. Of course, if you don’t fit any of those boxes but would like to be part of the worshipping community here, you are very welcome to make St Lawrence’s your church and then apply for baptism!
What happens at a christening?
In a christening service parents thank God for his gift of life, make a decision to start their child on a journey of faith and godparents promise help and support. As a church we will promise to welcome your child and pray for their family. You and your godparents will be asked to say, on behalf of your child, that you believe in God and that you will help your child up to grow up as follower of Jesus.
You will also have to say that you have decided to turn away from everything which is evil or sinful and instead to turn towards Christ.
These are serious promises, and will have to be said out loud in front of your friends and family during the service, so choose your godparents carefully as they need to understand what a privilege and responsibility they are taking on. Godparents must be baptized themselves, and ideally will be regular members of a church as it is their job to help your child grow in faith. Normally you will choose two godparents the same gender as your child, and one the opposite gender, but you can have up to 5 .
A week or so before the christening the priest will come over to your house to discuss the service, answer any questions and help explore the importance of what we are doing in baptism. If possible, it is really good to invite the godparents along to this too!
Do I have to be a regular churchgoer?
There are a number of reasons people ask for their child to be christened. Sometimes it is because they’d like to thank God for the birth of their child, or maybe just because they were baptized themselves and it feels like it is something that should be done! Whatever the reason, you don’t have to go to church regularly to have a christening, but we find starting to come along before the service helps to make it feel more special on the day. Given the promises being made it is definitely worth coming back afterwards so you and your child can learn more about the wonderful thing you have done for them!
A Christening is a good opportunity to think about your own faith and the faith of your family. For both yourself and your child, being baptized at a Christening marks the start of a lifelong journey of faith as part of the local and worldwide Christian family. We at St Lawrence’s welcome anyone who would like to explore their faith, whatever their age! Alongside our regular services at 9:30am on a Sunday and 10am on a Wednesday we also hold our Wonderfully Made Messy Church on the 2nd Saturday of each month, between 10am – 12noon.
When can I have a christening service?
We hold christenings at 11:15am on a Sunday morning (after our main 9:30am service). We will try to book you in on the Sunday you would most like, but sometimes this is not possible (for example, if there is another service or church event, if the priest is unavailable or if other families have already booked that day). We allow a maximum of two families in one service, so it is unlikely you will be the only family that day. However that won’t make the occasion any less special for you and your family.
What do I do now?
If you would like to know more, or would like to enquire about a christening, please complete the form below. We will always try to reply within three working days, but please do not start making other arrangements until we have contacted you to confirm a date as we cannot ever guarantee availability of a particular Sunday!
You may also want to check out the Church of England’s Christenings page for more information – you can find it by clicking here!
If you are not sure if you can make the promises required in a christening service, or are not sure you want to raise your child as a Christian, please still get in touch and speak to us about what else we can do to give thanks for the birth of your child!