Why have a baptism?
The birth of a child is a huge event in any couple's life together. When it happens they often want to mark the occasion by gathering their friends & family around them. And they want to involve God in the celebration & ask God to be with their child as he/she grows. So they come to church asking for a Baptism (or a Christening, as it's often called).
Baptism involves an element of giving thanks for this new life. But it's about more than that. We believe that God loves us all, whether we are baptised or not! But baptism is a visible symbol of that love - rather like a parent kissing their child.
Baptism is also a joining ceremony. When we're baptised we say we're willing to follow God's way - we take on a duty. That involves being a member of the church, & living as God would want us to live in every part of our lives.
You'll see from the last two paragraphs that there's nothing there that requires you to be a child when you're baptised. Most of our baptisms are of children, but occasionally we have an adult candidate.
When adults are baptised they are able to speak for themselves when asked whether they will follow God's way. But young children need someone to speak for them, & to promise to help them follow God's way until they are old enoughto take on the responsibility themselves - that's the godparents' job.
A big question for many people is who can be a godparent ... & how many do we need?
Godparents are supposed to be baptised & confirmed. Over the years we've found many people haven't been confirmed but have been allowed to be godparents at other churches. So we only insist on them being baptised. If they are not confirmed, we ask that they be 16 or older - old enough to understand the responsibilty they are taking on.
Traditionally people have three godparents - two the same gender as the child, one the opposite gender. In practice people most people have between 2 or 4, with at least one the same gender as the child.
How much does it cost?
That's an easy question to answer - nothing. But there will be a collection taken during the service towards the running costs of the church; & occasionally we find that some families want to make a separate donation - but that's entirely up to you.
Can I have a baptism at Holy Trinity ... & when?
You're welcome to have a baptism at Holy Trinity if you qualify. Broadly you must live in the parish or have a connection with the parish or church. It's hard to be specific, so the easiest thing is to ask us.
Usually we hold baptisms at a special midday Sunday service, once a month. And we have up to 3 baptism 'families' in each service. Obviously, the earlier you book, the more likely we are to have a space when you want.
We're quite happy for you to invite friends & family along. The church holds a lot of people & it's never run out of seating before! The car park is quite small though, so they probably won't all be able to park on site.
Understandably, adult candidates can be a little shy about being baptised. So we sometimes have a separate service for them when things are a little quieter.
Thanksgiving for the gift of a child
Some people don't want a baptism service. They don't want to have anything to do with a joining ceremony, & don't want to commit their child to follow God's way. There is an alternative service that can be used, 'Thanksgiving for the gift of a child'.
At Holy Trinity we don't see why anyone should be unwilling to say they will follow God's way - it's not as though we demand that you attend a course & then check up on you! But we have used the service very occasionally & are happy to talk the option through with you if you're interested.
Making an enquiry
If you're interested in having a baptism at Holy Trinity, please get in touch with us. We'll check that you qualify, & whether the date you want is available. And if you want to make a booking, we'll arrange an appointment with you, to fill in the form & explain what you need to do next!
You can phone us or fill in the form below. Either way, we look forward to hearing from you.