St Andrews

Baptism FAQs

Q What's the difference between a baptism and a christening?

None, they are just different words for the same thing.

Q What should I do first of all?

Come along to church on a Thursday evening between 6:30pm and 7:15pm for an informal discussion about baptism and complete a Baptism application form.

a.    Parent(s)/Adults will be encouraged to come along to the worship at St Andrew’s to ensure that they are comfortable with the type of worship and happy to make St Andrew’s their spiritual home. We encourage Parents and where possible, Godparents to come along to get involved in the life of St Andrew’s church and offer a variety of ways in which this can take place.  

b.    When you are sure this is the church for you, you should speak to the Vicar or to the Curate and they will agree a date and time for the baptism and the necessary preparation.    

Q Are there any special legal requirements to be baptized in the Church of England?

 There are certain legal requirements that must be met, but these shouldn’t be an obstacle to baptism.

a.    Parent(s)/Adults must either be resident in the parish of St Andrew’s or a member of St Andrew’s Church. You can find out which is your parish church, by going to the church near you website and entering your postcode.  The website is: http://www.achurchnearyou.com/parishmap.php .   

b.    It is also possible to have your child baptized at St Andrew’s if you have a qualifying connection to the Parish. The Vicar can advise you of this.  If you are concerned that you may not qualify, then please don’t give up and speak to the Vicar or the curate and they will do their best to help you.

c.    Where parents are bringing a child to baptism, at least one parent must be baptized.  If one parent is not baptized, they may like to consider baptism for themselves.

Q Do I have to go through any special Teaching?

In baptism, God pours out his Grace upon those who come to be baptized. To prepare you for this special moment there will be some teaching.  (The video shown at home visits clearly illustrates that Baptism is the first step on the journey of faith in a person's life.)
There will also be an explanation of the order of service so that it will be familiar to you on the day. Godparents are invited to the teaching but St Andrew’s recognises that it may not always be possible for Godparents to attend.  Often, the teaching may include others preparing for baptism. The Baptism will not go ahead until all of the preparation has been completed.

Q What does it cost to have a baptism?  

There is no Baptism fee but you may like to consider a donation as a contribution towards the certificates, candles and administrative and service costs.  If this can be Gift Aided, the Church is able to provide Gift Aid forms or envelopes. We would not wish the cost to exclude anyone from having their child baptized so please speak to the vicar if this might be the case.

Q Do I have to be a regular Church-goer to get my child baptized?

St Andrew’s recognizes that many people who want a baptism for their child may not be regular Church-goers. Since the service of Baptism requires promises on the part of the parent(s) and godparents to bring their child up as a worshipping member of the Church and to instruct their child in the Christian faith, it is hoped that the family will join in the worshipping life of the Church at least up until the date of Baptism.   There are a variety of different ways this can be done so please speak to the vicar or curate about the options available. One of the ways is to come along to our weekly toddler group which takes place on Monday mornings during term time. 

Q Is there a special number of Godparents?

It is usual for there to be between three and five godparents and traditionally,  for girls to have 2 godmothers and 1 godfather and for boys to have 2 godfathers and 1 godmother.  This is merely a guideline and there may be exceptions to this. The role of the Godparent is to pray for their godchild, to help them find their place in the Church.  It is a requirement that godparents are baptized.  If a chosen godparent is not baptized and they are committed to their role as godparent, it is necessary for them to be baptized prior your child’s baptism. They will require some teaching beforehand and this can take several months to complete.  For more information, please speak to the Vicar.

Q What is a Service of Thanksgiving?  

Many people feel they would like to give thanks for their child in Church in a very special way, to seek God’s blessings for their child and mark the occasion with a family celebration. For some people, however, baptism can feel like it is too big a commitment which they are not yet ready to make.  In this case, parents may like to consider a special service of Thanksgiving.   This is a shorter service without the water or the promises of baptism.  A service of Thanksgiving usually takes place on a Sunday at 1pm or 2pm and costs £100.  For more details, please speak to the Vicar.