The Church of England administers over 10,000 christenings every month for infants and babies.
1. Christening and baptisms are the same
A baptism and christening service are essentially the same; some churches call the services ‘christenings’ and some call them ‘baptisms’.
2. Baptisms mark the start of the journey alongside God
It is a celebration, where friends and family come together to remember the love God has for the child.
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3. The service marks new life
Attending church is linked to feelings of social acceptance and optimism. Water is blessed and poured over the baby’s head, signed with Christ’s cross, and a candle may be presented, all signifying new life. The parents and godparents make promises, and prayers are offered along with hymns and readings.
4. The baby’s given name will be used
Your baby will not be given a name during the christening; instead, the registered name of your child will be used.
5. Everyone is welcome
All children, babies and families are welcome. You do not have to actively go to church, be christened or be married as parents of the child to be baptised.
6. Christening services are free
Besides the costs of any family party you hold, christening robes and gifts, the church christening service is free.
7. Christenings are held at your local church
Your parish church will be able to hold the christening; however, if you would like another church to conduct the service, talk to the church’s vicar.
8. A child can be baptised at any age
There is no upper age limit for christenings; however, a child over seven years old is likely to make the promises themselves. A christening is generally held as part of Sunday’s main church service.
9. Godparents provide support, faith and love
Godparents are an important part of the christening service. They are people who will be there for your child in support of life, hope and faith, rather than guardians should the worst happen. The child traditionally needs three godparents, who are baptised themselves, with two being the same gender as the child.
10. The vicar will arrange the service
To arrange the christening, contact the vicar, who will answer any questions you may have.