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Baptism

For a child, baptism marks the start of a journey of faith.  

This involves turning away from the darkness of self-centredness, turning towards Christ and becoming a member of both the local and worldwide Christian family.

To discover if you live in our parish, please click here to find out about our parish boundaries.

Baptism: 

  • Says thank you to God for the birth of a child.
     

  • Invites God to share in the task of bringing up a child. 
     

  • Affirms parents' determination to give their child a Christian upbringing. 
     

  • Commits the Church to doing whatever it can to help parents in that task.  

The Sign of the Cross
During the Baptism, the sign of the cross is made on the child's forehead.  The making of this sign symbolises Christ's acceptance of the child as one of His own.


It's also a prayer that as the child grows up, he or she will become ever more like Christ, showing that devotion to God and that unstinting care for others that were the hallmarks of His life.

Baptising with Water
This is an acted prayer that as the child grows up, his or her life may be free from all that pollutes people and turns them in on themselves, such as pride, hatred, greed, sloth, anger, lust, and envy.

The Giving of the Candle
The big candle is the Easter Candle. A new one is lit each year on Easter Day. It commemorates Jesus' rising to life again after the crucifixion and proclaims the faith that the light will always shine on in the darkness and that darkness will never master it.

From this big candle a smaller candle is lit which is given to the child.  

The giving of this candle is a prayer that the light that shone in Christ will shine is them bringing them the precious gifts of love, joy, peace and a quiet mind.  

 

Answers to common questions about Baptism

The Parents

Parents are usually God-parents. In the service they profess their own faith as the faith in which they will bring up their child.

Q: What if one parent believes and the other one doesn't?
A:  Both parents must agree to the baptism taking place but both parents do not have to be God-parents. There's no pressure on the parent who doesn't believe to take any part in the service.  

Q:  If the parent(s) aren't married, can the child still be christened? 
A: Yes  

God-Parents

Their job is to pray for the child, to be a good example to the child and to help the parents, as appropriate, to give the child a Christian upbringing.

In the service they affirm their own faith as the faith in which they will help to bring the child up

Q: Who can be God parents?  
A:  Strictly speaking God-parents should be confirmed members of the Church of England. In practice, choose the people you think would be right, but bear in mind that they will have to make a public declaration that they accept the Christian faith.  
Q:  How many do I need?  
A: Traditionally a boy has two God-fathers and a God-mother; a girl has two God-mothers and a God-father. Where the parents are also God-parents, this means that the minimum required, in addition to the parents, would be one God-father for a boy or one God-mother for a girl. There's no maximum number. Prince Charles had fourteen.  
Q:  Is it right that the God parents bring the child up if something happens to the parents?  
A: Any such arrangement is a private arrangement. Becoming a God-parent doesn't commit you to bringing up your God-child

Fixing the Date

To fix the date ring Rev'd Steve Wood.   He'll then arrange for a member of the congregation to call to take the necessary details. For Steve's contact details, please click here to visit the page 'Contact Us.'

If this is your first baptism, you'll also be taken through the service and given a copy of our Baptism Booklet.  

We also have our own baptism DVD which helps people to understand more about what happens at this service.

 

Q: When are baptisms carried out? 
A:  Sunday afternoons, starting at 2.30 pm.

Q:  How many families does he do at once? 
A: One at a time is plenty.  

Q:  Does it matter where I live?
A: To have the right to baptism at St. Margaret's, you must live in St. Margaret's parish or be on the church's Electoral Roll.  

Q:  What if we don't live in the parish?  
A: Baptisms from outside the parish can only take place with the permission of the vicar in whose parish you live.  Please contact our Priest in Charge Rev'd Steve Wood.  For Steve's contact details, please click here to visit the page 'Contact Us.'

Q:  How old should a child be?
A: Age is irrelevant. The oldest baptism that our previous Vicar had done was someone aged 82.

Note from Roger (our previous Vicar): 

"What really matters is weight. The Vicar's left arm has a fourteen pound (5.5 kilos) breaking strain. Beyond that weight you might be asked to hold your own!  The younger (and lighter) the child, the happier the Vicar."

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