We're delighted you're thinking of baptism for your child.
Your child is precious to you and precious to God. At baptism you promise to raise your child to know God loves them, and to help them to follow Jesus as a member of the family of the Church.
The baptism of a child is a wonderful part of the life of this child, and we should be delighted to speak to you and tell you more about it. If you would like to find out more please contact the Vicar, Fr.Adrian Hughes (0191 252 1817)
What is baptism?
In baptism, you as parents are: thanking God for his gift of life, making a decision to start your child on the journey of faith and asking for the Church's support.
For your child, baptism marks the start of a journey of faith, which involves entering into a new, lifelong relationship with God and becoming a member of the local and worldwide Christian family.
Q. What's the difference between a baptism and a christening?
A. None, they are just different words for the same thing.
Q. I'm not a regular churchgoer. Can I still have my child baptized?
A. Yes. The Church believes that God's love is available to all, regardless of their background.
Q. When do baptisms take place?
A. Baptisms usually take place on the second and fourth Sunday of the month (11.15am or 12.15pm). We make a very special point of baptising the child of one family alone at each service.
We are always delighted when families ask for a child to be baptised at our main Sunday morning service at 9.30 when a large part of the church family will be present. We should be happy to talk this through with you.
Q. What is the right age for baptism?
A. Baptism can happen at any age. What matters is that those concerned are committed to bring up a child as a Christian.
Teenagers and adults may also be baptized. This is celebrated with confirmation by the Bishop. You can only be baptised once, but there are ways of renewing your Christian commitment publicly as an adult - your priest will be able to advise you.
Q Can anyone be baptised at St. George's?
A. Because of the number of baptisms here, we will normally only baptise children of parents who live in the parish, or who have a connection with the parish. If you are not sure, then please ask. For those who do not actually live in the parish, no child can be baptised at St.George's unless you have contacted your local Vicar and they have granted their consent.
As a godparent, you have a special role. It's about helping a child to come to know God, encouraging them in their spiritual life and supporting them in their membership of the local church. You will be expected to be attend the child's baptism, where you will make promises to help to bring them up in the Christian faith. It's a role that will develop over time, as your godchild grows up and develops their own faith.
Anybody can be a Godparent, as long as they have been baptised and feel confident to make the promises and committments required of them in the service. There are normally three godparents (of whom two should be the same sex as your child) - but we are very flexible.
Promises and Committments - the beginning of a journey
Baptism isn't just about the arrival of a child, but the beginning of a journey which will continue for the rest of your child's life. Your child needs to meet with and worship regularly with the church family in order to develop a sense of belonging - so why not ask about :
- St. George's Little Dragons - our mother and toddler group
- Sunday School
- our special occasions and services for children
- Mothers' Union
Do you want to find out more?
A really good resource is the Church of England's website - www.churchofengland.org Go to the section on Baptism.
For enquiries about baptisms here at St. George's please contact the Vicar,
Fr.Adrian Hughes (0191 252 1817)