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Christening and Baptism
All Saints Church will Christen any child who lives in the parish or the children of parents who, though now living elsewhere, retain strong family links with Holbeach. At a Christening service, your child will be baptised. We currently baptise about 30-40 people (both children and adults) each year. Through Baptism, we are made Christ’s or Christ-ened. We belong to Him. We are also happy to baptise older children and adults – though we encourage adults to take the opportunity to explore their own faith before they are baptised.
When can we have a Christening?
We offer you two options for a Christening. Your child can be baptised within any of our 10.30 am services, either during our All-Age Worship service on the first Sunday of the month or at our sung Eucharist services on the other Sundays. Unfortunately, we will not be able to do baptisms in services which fall on particular festivals of the church’s year. A 10:30 am service with a baptism will last just over an hour.
Your child can be baptised outside our normal worship pattern at 12:15 pm on the Fourth Sunday of the month. During the Christening season, between Spring and Autumn, the demand is quite high but we endeavour to have no more than two families present at the same service. However, if there is a high demand we will also hold a 12.15 Christening on the second Sunday of the month. A 12:15 pm Christening does not have hymns or a Eucharist so, lasts about 30 minutes.
What happens at a Christening?
During the service each child will have the sign of the cross marked on their forehead with oil, and have the water of baptism poured on their head in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit and at the end of the service they will be given a lighted candle (held by another member of the family!) and be invited to ‘shine like a light in the world, to the glory of God the Father’. All these actions combine to assure the person being christened that they belong to Christ, have a once and for all assurance of God’s forgiving love and have become part of the Christian community.
What are we promising at a Christening?
Bringing your child to be Christened requires some degree of commitment from the parents and godparents, and so they should have been christened themselves. During the service parents and godparents are asked:
To say that they are willing to encourage the children, by teaching and by personal example, to pray and to go to Church.
To declare their own belief in the Christian Faith.
A child should have three godparents, two of the same gender as the child and one of the opposite gender. Parents can also act as godparents so each child can manage with only one other godparent. The godparents should be over 16 – in order to be fully aware of the responsibility which they are taking on.
How much does a Christening cost?
Nothing. There is no fee for a Christening, but we do always invite baptism families and their guests to make a donation to the church!
Can I be christened as an adult?
Yes – it is never too late to think about being christened, though since you will be making the promises for yourself you will need to have a conversation with the vicar about your beliefs and your desire to be baptised. You may well be invited to join an adult Nurture course to help you understand the Christian faith and you may also want to have your faith confirmed at a service of confirmation.
How do I arrange a Christening?
Contact the Vicar – Revd Rosamund Seal on 01406 424989 – email firstname.lastname@example.org. She will take all the necessary details and invite you and your child to come to church one Saturday morning for a short preparation session in order to help you understand what baptism is all about, to explain what will happen at the service, and how we as a church can support you.
The Church of England has an excellent new website telling you everything you might need to know about Christenings, so please look up this link.