Life is a Journey
Life is often described as a journey full of twists and turns, different pathways and routes, and the many people we meet and travel through life with.
The Christian faith involves a journey of discovery into the greater depths of God’s love and desire for us to have every moment of our lives touched and transformed through Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Baptism is a first step on this journey, for the candidate as well as those around them, their parents and Godparents, their family and the wider church family. By the way, there is no difference between Baptism and Christening.
Parents and Godparents have a unique place and responsibility in the life of a child. Children inherit looks and abilities from their parents but they also watch, learn and mimic the behaviour of significant people around them like their Godparents. This is why both parents and Godparents are expected to make some serious promises about their approach to life and the Christian faith in the public ceremony of baptism.
What is a christening?
During a christening your child will be baptized with water. It’s the start of an amazing journey of faith for your child and a special day for all your friends and family.
What happens during the service?
We will make sure you know where to sit and when you need to move. Some parts of the service will be for everyone present to join in together, some will be for you and the godparents alone. Important promises will be made by Parents and Godparents to God and on behalf of a child.
A number of important symbols will be used during the service itself:
The sign of the cross – the priest will make the sign of the cross on your child’s forehead. When Christians first began baptising many people were slaves and bore the mark of their owner. The signing of the cross became a symbol that they, and all humanity belong to God their creator.
Water – the priest will pour water on your child’s head. Water is a sign of washing and cleansing. In baptism it is a sign of being washed free from sin and beginning a new life with God.
Candles – Jesus is called the light of the world. A large candle may be lit in the church and you will be given a lighted candle at the end of the service as a reminder of the light which has come into your child’s life.
How much does a christening service cost? There is no charge for a christening service
Is there a minimum age for godparents? There is actually no minimum age specified for godparents, but if you’re thinking of having a young godparent under the age of 18, talk to the vicar first.
Do godparents have to be baptized? Yes, this is a basic requirement for a godparent.
How many godparents can I have? You should have a minimum of three godparents and you can have as many additional godparents as you like.
What to do next!
We would love to baptize your child. The first step is to make contact with the Rector, Bruce either by e-mail at Ilchestervicar@aol.com or by phone 01935 849441. The Rector will take some basic details from you and put the Baptism Preparation team in contact with you. Preparation for baptism is a requirement of all families and the team will come to see you, show you a short dvd and answer any questions you have. Nearer the date of the service the Rector will come and see you and talk through the actual workings of the service with you.