Can we have our child baptised at St Barts?
Baptism (sometimes known as “christening”) is the church ceremony which welcomes a person into the Church. Often, people request it for their child, or toddler. We are happy to celebrate baptisms for infants of parents who have a Christian belief. You may ask for baptism in the parish you live in, or the church you regularly worship at, if that is different from your parish church. In other words, we can baptise your child for you at St Bart’s if you live in the parish, or, if you live outside our parish but attend St Bart’s.
Q Do we live in St Bart’s parish?
See the section on our parish boundaries.
Q When are baptisms conducted?
On Sunday mornings, during the 10.00 am Parish Eucharist. We can normally offer this once a month, but you need to contact us several weeks in advance to agree a date. Baptism takes place during the Sunday worship because it is not a private ceremony. It is about welcoming someone into the Church. The Church is people, and therefore baptism takes place when people are gathered. It also gives you the opportunity, if you haven’t taken it so far, to sample worship in a modern Christian community. And it enables us in the Church community to minister to our wider community.
Q How do I make a booking?
Either come along to our Office Hour, on Saturday morning, at the church, from 10.00 am to 11.30 am; or ring 020 8778 5290 to make an appointment.
Q What happens next?
We shall have at least two further meetings between then and the date booked for the baptism. One will be to visit you at home, by prior arrangement. This is to help us get to know one another better, to explain a little more about baptism, take down the particulars, and answer any questions. The second meeting is in church, nearer the day of the baptism. Here, we shall take you through the service step by step. Godparents are invited to attend this meeting.
Q What are godparents?
Godparents are responsible adults who undertake to encourage the spiritual development of your child. They must have been baptized themselves, and, ideally, be practising Christians. They need not necessarily be Anglicans. It is usual to have two of the same sex as the child, and one of the opposite sex. Parents may be godparents to their own children. Resist the temptation to choose godparents for purely social reasons, and to have too many!
Q What is the fee for baptism?
There is no fee for baptism. A collection will be taken during the service, which provides the opportunity to make a donation to the church if you wish.
Q Can I be baptized as an adult?
Adults can be baptized, and increasingly are these days. But you cannot be baptized as an adult if you were baptized as an infant (even if your parents called it “christening”). If, however, your parents brought you to a service of thanksgiving as an infant, which was not baptism, you can be baptized as an adult.
Usually people who ask for baptism as adults have come to faith as an adult. We are very happy to encourage and endorse this. Most of what is said above about infant baptism applies to adult baptism, except that you have “sponsors” rather than godparents, and of course you can speak for yourself. We also strongly encourage those getting baptized as adults to join our confirmation course, because baptism on its own does not give you the right to receive holy communion. Full membership of the church is attained through baptism, confirmation and holy communion. We run a confirmation course of about 13 sessions once a year.
For inquiries about adult baptism and confirmation please contact the clergy on 020 8778 5290.