What is a Baptism/Christening?
Baptism is the Sacrament of adoption by God into himself and into the Church. It is the point at which we become a follower of Christ formally and when we begin a journey of faith and pilgrimage in the way of the Lord. It is when God holds you in the palm of his hand and promises to pour out his blessings on you just as you promise to be faithful to him.
A baptism and a christening are the same thing. But a christening usually refers to a baptism of a child. Anyone of any age can be baptized and you only need to be baptized once in your life. That is enough for God. If you can’t remember your baptism/christening and want to mark a step of faith in some other way, then you can either be confirmed if you haven’t already been or publicly affirm your faith again. Speak to the Vicar if this is something you want to discuss.
Arranging a baptism at St Anne’s
At St Anne’s if you want to have your child baptized or if you want to be baptized yourself as an adult and you live within the local area close to the parish church, then a service can be arranged without any problem. To find out exactly which parish you live in, please enter your postcode into the box on this website www.achurchnearyou.com and you’ll be able to find out. Then talk to the Vicar.
If you don’t live immediately near St Anne’s, you are still welcome to have your child christened or be baptized yourself, but we ask that you attend for at least 6 months before this, to be part of our community of faith and to show your commitment to the life of the Church.
When do baptisms take place?
Baptisms usually take place within the main 11am Sunday morning Mass, but occasionally we can arrange for a quieter service at 2pm on a Sunday.
There is no charge or fee for a baptism service, but a donation to the Church is always welcome.
Confirmation is the service at which you publicly affirm your mature commitment to the Christian faith. You are confirmed by the Bishop either in St Anne’s or at St Paul’s Cathedral, or occasionally at another parish church nearby. Confirmations happen once a year, usually around October/November, and there are preparation classes in advance, usually for about 6 weeks. You can be confirmed as soon as you feel able to make a commitment for yourself. It is often as young as 8 or 9, but even if you’re 89, you’re never too old!
Receiving Holy Communion
Everyone who is baptized/christened and who wishes to do so is a full part of God’s family and of the Church and therefore may receive the Sacrament of the Body and Blood of Christ (Communion) at the Parish Mass.
At St Anne’s some children as young as 3 receive Communion, after the agreement their parents and the Vicar. But we adopt a flexible approach. Please speak to the Vicar about this.
Age-appropriate instruction is available for children of any age in advance of receiving Communion.