Parish of Brightwell-cum-Sotwell St. Agatha’s & St James’s
The arrival of a new child in the family is both a wonderful privilege and a great responsibility. It is a time when many feel that it is appropriate to say “Thank you” to God, for the very precious gift of a child. One of the ways people choose to do this is to ask to have their child baptised (sometimes called ‘christened’). We extend a warm welcome to any who are seeking baptism, for a child or for themselves, and hope we can make the service a special occasion for them and their family.
If you are reading this webpage you may not be familiar with any of the local churches or may be wondering what is involved in having your child baptised.
What is baptism?
Baptism marks the start of a journey of faith. When we are baptised we become members of the Church family.
Who can be baptised?
Any who live in one of the team parishes or who worships regularly at one of the team churches are eligible to be baptised or to have their children baptised. In baptism parent and godparents promise to bring up children in the Christian faith and to help them take their place within the life and worship of the church. Because those who are baptised are joining the church’s family we would like to encourage those who live outside the three parishes to seek baptism in their local church. However, we understand that sometimes people have strong family links to our parish churches and a member of the clergy will be pleased to discuss the matter with you.
There is a lot to consider in deciding to have a baptism for your child. To help you make this decision a member of the clergy/pastoral care team will visit and discuss things with you. There will also be the opportunity, at a preparation evening, to consider the full meaning of baptism and the promises you and the godparents will be making and to meet with other people who are having their children baptised. If you decide at this point that baptism is not appropriate we would be happy to arrange a service of Thanksgiving for your child.
When does baptism take place?
Usually this takes place in the church’s main Sunday service because baptisms are a public declaration that those who are baptised are becoming part of the church family. It is important that the congregation is there to support and welcome them.
Baptism is just the start of the Christian journey. We do all that we can to be alongside, to encourage you and your family as together you continue this special journey of faith as part of the church family.