Who can be Christened?
Christening (Baptism) is a gift from God which can be conferred at any age, not just childhood, and our Vicar would be happy to speak with you about that step in your own Christian journey.
If you live within our parish boundaries or are on our electoral roll (church membership roll), your child can be Christened at one of our churches. If you aren’t sure which parish you’re in, you can easily find out by putting your postcode into Search box of the Church of England website A Church Near You. If you don’t live in our parish or have strong family or historical ties to it, your child can only be Christened here with the permission of your own parish priest. We encourage people to be Christened in their own parish church.
Lone Parents and Unmarried Couples
Christening expresses God’s love for your child and His unconditional welcome for you and your child(ren). We welcome you whatever form your family takes. Your marital status, orientation or personal circumstances have no bearing on whether or not you or your child can be Christened. We strive to be a welcoming and inclusive church which does not judge but shows God’s love to all.
Requesting a Christening
To request a Christening, please complete the online Christening Form. Alternatively, you can ring the parish office on 01684 252003 for further information, or to obtain a PDF or Word version of the form.
Christenings are performed at St Matthias Church at 12 noon on the first and third Sundays of each month. Christenings at our other churches are possible under special circumstances; please contact the parish office to discuss prior to submitting your Christening Form. Once we’ve received your request, we’ll arrange a mutually available date and confirm your booking. The Vicar will contact you about a week before the Christening to arrange a brief meeting with you and your child(ren) so he can walk you through the service and answer any questions you may have.
Our Christenings are relaxed, joyful occasions that take about 30-40 minutes, with plenty of time afterward for pictures.
Christenings are free of charge but we do suggest a donation in the collection plate on your Christening day – donations go towards ensuring our parish and our church buildings remain available for future generations.
When you bring your child to be Christened, you will be asked to publicly declare you believe in God and that you will bring your child up to follow Christ. Your godparents will also be asked to make these promises, so please choose carefully those people who are truly willing and able to support your child in their Christian journey of faith.
Godparents must have already been Christened themselves (and preferably confirmed) as Christening is seen as one of the essential first steps on any Christian’s journey of faith. We therefore cannot Christen an adult purely in order for them to stand as a godparent.