Baptism

What is baptism?
Baptism is an important first step in the spiritual life of an individual. It marks the beginning of a journey that will last a lifetime and is the first response, on your child’s/children’s behalf in thanksgiving to God for his love for all he has made.

In the service both parents and Godparents make serious promises and declare their own faith; and the wider community of the church and your friends and family will welcome the child and promise to help you care and pray for them in the future.

When do baptism services take place?
We hold baptism services during the Sunday morning service at 10:30 am on the second Sunday of each month. Please note that it is not our practice to hold ‘private baptisms’ outside of main church services. This is because, in baptism, the church welcomes a new member into its family – and should therefore be present to make this important promise.

Can I have my child baptised in St Oswald’s Church?
It is usual to have a child baptised in the church in whose parish you live or where you usually attend church services. It is possible to make an exception to this, providing the Vicar of your parish church is happy for your child/children to be baptised in our church. It would be courteous to ask her or him.

How old should my child be for baptism?
There is no age restriction for the baptism of babies or young children, though older children will need to consent to being baptised.

When should I apply for baptism?
We receive many requests for baptism during the year, so please apply early if you have a specific date in mind. In any case an application for baptism should be received at least two weeks before the chosen date, but please be aware that if there are already two families booked for that date your application may have to wait for another available service.

Who should I choose to be Godparents?
It is a requirement of the Church of England that all Godparents must themselves be baptised as Christians. Ideally they should also be confirmed members of the church and regularly attend church services. This is important as one of the promises they will be asked to make is that they will draw your child by their example into the community of faith and help them to take their place within the life and worship of Christ’s church. A Godparent does not need to be a relative, but can be a close family friend who will maintain a keen interest in the spiritual and physical wellbeing of your child/children. It is usual for a girl to have two Godmothers and one Godfather and for a boy to have two Godfathers and one Godmother.

What does it cost?
Baptism is free. An offering will be taken during the service and any gifts you may wish to make will be gratefully received and will contribute to the considerable regular running and maintenance costs of St. Oswald’s Church.

What if I’m not sure I’m ready to take this step?
Baptism is a big decision and one which should not be taken lightly. If you are not sure you are ready to make the promises required by the Church of England, we do offer a Service of Thanksgiving. This is not the same as a baptism service but offers the opportunity for a family to thank God in public for the gift of new life and to ask for his blessing on their child/children. This normally takes place during a regular service at either 9am or 10:30.

What should I do next?
If you would like to apply for baptism, or to ask for a Service of Thanksgiving please contact Brenda Barnes, who will tell you what to do next – see contacts panel. For baptism, a form will be sent to you for completion.

What happens next?
You will be contacted by a member of the clergy who will arrange to visit you to talk about the service.

The church of St Oswald’s looks forward to meeting you and your child/children. We would love to welcome you and have the opportunity to get to know you at any of our services before the date of the baptism/thanksgiving. We have services every Sunday at 10:30 and most Sundays at 9am (more formal service). We also run ‘Noah’s Ark’ a Baby/toddler and parent/carer afternoon on Wednesdays at 13:45-15:00. All are welcome!

Please don't hesitate to contact us with any other enquiry.

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