Some FAQs about baptisms (christenings) at St John the Baptist Church, Shedfield.

Q: What exactly is a baptism?

A: Your baptism (also known as your ‘christening’) marks the beginning of your journey with God, which continues for the rest of your life. It is also a celebration and a time to come together with family and friends. 

Q: What usually happens in a baptism service?

A: Before the baptism itself, the child is signed with the cross with special holy oil and the  godparents and parents will make promises on his/her behalf.  Water is blessed and poured on the child’s head and prayers are offered for the child and the family.  The gift of a candle – a symbol of the light of Christ – is given to the baptism family by the church family.

Q: Is there an alternative to baptism?

A: Yes!  We offer you an alternative – a service of thanksgiving, because some parents want to celebrate the gift of a child in a different way without the commitment that baptism involves. During a thanksgiving service parents and families give thanks for the birth or adoption of a child and pray for God’s blessing on their family life.

A Thanksgiving service is not the same as a baptism service.. There are no promises to make about the Christian faith and there are no godparents. The child is blessed and prayed for, and supporting friends promise to support the parents in bringing up their child.

Q: How much does the service cost and when can it take place?

A: The service is free. It is the welcoming of your child into the family of God through our church family and we couldn’t possibly charge for that!

Baptism services usually take place at 12.00pm on Sundays.

Q: I live outside your parish. Can my child still be baptised at the church?

A: Although it is usual to have your child baptised in your local church, it may be that you live elsewhere but worship regularly here, or that you were married here, or that you have family living in the parish. Whatever the reasons, do contact our Parish Administrator (details below) and we will help as much as we can. 

Q: One of us is Roman Catholic. Can our child still be baptised in your church?

A: Yes.

Q: How many godparents can we have?

A: This is entirely up to you, although we do like you to have more than one. We insist that godparents must be old enough to make promises on behalf of the child. Although godparents need not be confirmed members of the Church of England, they should have been baptised.

Q: Do the parents of the child need to be baptised?

A: Not necessarily. If you are not baptised and you would like to be please contact the Parish Administrator (details below).

Q: How do we book a baptism or thanksgiving service?

A: Please contact the Parish Life Events Co-ordinator, Mrs Jane Goulson: /  01329 833 299.  (All baptisms in the Benefice of St John the Baptist Church, Shedfield and St Nicholas Church, Wickham are co-ordinated centrally).

To find out more about baptisms (christenings) in the Church of England, have a look at the Church of England’s website by clicking the button below.