Baptism is not only offered to babies and children but also to adults. It is sometimes called Christening and it is a very special service when you can be welcomed into the family of the church. To download our leaflet with more information click below. It is much more than a ‘naming ceremony’; it is a time when we can make promises about our beliefs.
Baptism is often the first step on our walk with God which continues for the rest of our lives. God loves us and wants us to be part of the family of the church. For all those at the baptism, particularly the person being baptized but also the parents and godparents, it is a joyful moment when we make serious promises and declare our faith. It is also a joyful occasion for the whole church as we welcome the newly baptized and promise our support and prayers for their future. Taking part in a baptism provides an opportunity to remember your own baptism and think about your own faith.
Usually in Family Services ....
Baptisms at Shirehampton normally take place in the Family Service at 10.00am on the last Sunday of the month. If, however, there are special reasons that make this extremely difficult it may be possible to arrange another time, please contact the Church Office 0117 9077026
There are lots of signs to remind us of Jesus
Within the service there are lots of signs which remind us of Jesus. There is the sign of the cross made on the head of the person being baptized which reminds us of how Jesus died on a cross to save us from our sins. Our baptism is with water through which we believe we are forgiven our sins and are raised to new life, a reminder that Jesus rose again. The person baptized will also be given a lighted candle, to show us that the light of Christ conquers the darkness of evil. All those who are baptized walk in his light for the rest of their lives. As you think of those to be baptized, you may like to think of all those in your family throughout the ages who have been baptized and known the love of Jesus in their lives.
Things people want to know usually include ...
How much does it cost?
The church is pleased to welcome new members into its family and we do not charge any fee. There is a collection during the service when you have an opportunity to contribute to the work of the church if you would like to do so.
How many Godparents?
It is usual to have three godparents, two of the same sex as the person being baptized and one of the opposite sex. It is acceptable, however, to have one of each sex.
Parents can be godparents to their own child provided that there is at least one other person.
Do godparents have to be baptized and confirmed?
The church law requires that at least one of the godparents should be baptized. You do not have to be confirmed.
How old do you have to be to be baptized?
There is no lower or upper age limit for baptism. We are pleased to welcome anyone who is not baptized to consider this. If you would like to discuss the matter further the Vicar will be pleased to meet with you and answer any other questions you may have either about the baptism of a baby or child or for yourself. It is lovely when people think about deepening their own faith and joining with our church family.
We hope we'll see you again
We do hope that we shall see those who are baptized again at St Mary’s and, of course, parents and godparents are equally welcome. We would especially like to see you on the anniversary of the baptism. Children of any age will always receive a warm welcome. We have a crèche for under 4’s at our 10.00am morning service. We also have ‘Kids’ Klub’ Service from 8.30am - 9.30am every Sunday morning - breakfast and a very short service especially suitable for children and families - why not come along and try it out?(see services page for more information) Breakfast is an especially relaxed time.
When you bring your child to be baptised, it may prompt you to think about what you believe
Sometimes parents or godparents may wish to think and ask about their own faith and we would be happy to answer any questions you may have and discuss the possibility of you being confirmed at an appropriate time.