'Baptism' and 'christening' are the words used to describe the same service. Baptism is the biblical word but christening has been in common usage for many years.
On this website we will mostly use the word ‘baptism’.
Baptism is a 'sacrament' - an outward and visible sign of an inward invisible grace. Or, in other words, baptism is a service in church that uses water poured over a baby or child as a sign of God's constant loving kindness towards us, of a welcome into the family of the church and of the beginning of a journey of faith.
We are delighted you are thinking about baptism for your child and we welcome you to our churches. Baptism is an important decision so please read through the information below carefully and, if you have any further questions, please contact the Church Office or ask to speak to our Minister.
- isn't a one off event; rather it is the beginning of a life long journey of faith that should embrace Confirmation (a special service where an older child or adult 'owns' the baptism promises for themselves) and personal commitment.
- isn’t a way of giving a child an instant knowledge about Jesus and the church.
- won't make the child 'come on better', either in his/her health or childhood development and it won't set a child 'on the right lines' in terms of his/her behaviour or moral values - that is primarily the parents' role.
- won't make access to church schools easier - it is the parents' baptism and regular attendance at church over several years that are needed when applying to a church school.
- isn't necessary to be married in church.
- Dates and spaces at our Baptism services (usually 3 spaces are offered at each Baptism service) are mutually agreed and organised several months in advance. To avoid disappointment, please discuss this with the Church office before making any definite arrangements.
- We are not usually able to offer a baptism space for those who live outside of our Parish, unless you worship with us regularly, have a qualifying connection to one of our churches or there are extraordinary pastoral reasons for us doing so.
To enquire about having your child Baptised at St Martin's Church Chavey Down, St Mary's Winkfield or St Peter's Cranbourne please email the Church Office