What is a baptism?
In baptism, you as parents are: thanking God for his gift of life, making a decision to start your child on the journey of faith and asking for the Church's support.
For your child, baptism marks the start of a journey of faith, which involves turning away from all that is evil, turning towards Christ and becoming a member of the local and worldwide Christian family. During the ceremony some water is blessed and then pured over the child's head as a symbol of starting clean and new in the Christian faith. The sign of the cross is also made on the forehead of the child and promises are made by parents and godparents as well as by the whole congregation. For more information and some FAQ's have a look at the national Church of England site here.
How to arrange a baptism at St Nicholas
We are delighted that you wish your child to be baptised at St Nicholas Church. We hope you find this page useful as you prepare for the baptism.
The first step is to talk about a date. We normally baptise on the first and last Sundays of each month at 11.45pm. The service lasts about 30 minutes. Just occasionally it is possible to arrange a baptism on a different date but normally this is not possible. Some months (particularly in the spring and the summer) are particularly busy for baptisms so it is a help to get in touch some time in advance.
When a date has been arranged we will ask you to bring your baby or child to a Pram Service. This happens on every second Thursday in Church in the children's corner at 2pm. We normally tell a story of explore a child centred theme and play some intruments while singing a simple song. The we go over to the Church Hall for some orange or a cup of tea. There are some toys there for the children to play with. We issue the baptism form at this service or you can download it here and bring it with you completed. You are also invited to come to church for a Sunday morning service. On the third Sunday this is particularly "family friendly" with a simpler order and a talk aimed at all ages, but on all Sundays there is a creche in the children's corner and someone around to help. We are very pleased to welcome and encourage families to come to church.
In the week before the baptism one of the clergy will either come to your house to talk about the ceremony or invite you to church for a rehearsal. We have a useful DVD also that we can lend you.
On the day of the baptism we need to start promptly so we like you and your guests to arrive around 11.30am. There should be someone to welcome you and look after you. Depending on who is taking the service and the number of baptisms the service is sometimes held all around the font and at others we move from the front of church. Sometimes we use a portable font at the front of church. There is often a hymn during the service so if you have a favourite please let us know.
During the service you will be given a candle and a baptism certificate. We are happy for you to take photographs but at the end of the ceremony so that the flashes are not distracting and so you can gather your own family together. Please have a word with whoever is taking the baptism if you want to video the service.
There is no fee for a baptism or for the special candle and card, but, as you can imagine, it costs a great deal to run our medieval church which is the second largest church building in the county. We very much appreciate donations, preferably in the yellow Gift Aid envelopes if you pay tax because this enables us to reclaim the tax. Additionally you can also buy a book from the Children's Corner and we will inscribe it "In thanksgiving for the birth and baptism of ..."
We look forward very much to getting to know you and your family better. If you have any other queries please phone the Vicar on 01692/406380.