Christening/Baptism

Many people would like baptisms to take place in St Peter’s.We would be delighted to baptize your child (and/or you!). Do join us for a Sunday service where you will be warmly welcome.

In line with canon law, we make provision for baptism for everyone who lives within St Peter’s parish, or is a member of the church (attends regularly). Baptism is about recognising the gift of God’s grace within the faith community. If you live outside the parish but would like to be part of the worshipping community here, you will be most welcome to make St Peter’s your church and then apply for baptism.

Our baptism information leaflet can be downloaded here. Preparation sessions for parents and godparents are held before baptisms and you will be advised of these when applying. Please take time to read it, and the information lower down this page.

Baptisms usually happen in a block, one Saturday a month (sometimes in ‘wedding season’, it is a Sunday afternoon). When you apply a minister will contact you to let you know when the next available date is (2017 : Jan 14th am, Feb 4th pm, March 4th am, April 1st pm, May 6th am, June 3rd am, July 1st am, Aug 5th am, Sept 2nd pm, Oct 7th am, Nov 4th am. These are all Saturdays).

Due to the high number of baptisms and weddings, it is rarely possible to respond to particular requests for dates, but we will offer you the nearest we can manage.

Occasionally you will be the only family in a service, mostly there will be two families. The baptism service lasts around forty minutes, and you can fit around 60 guests per family maximum. We will suggest a maximum of around 80 if you are the only family, but we would not be able to confirm being the only family until a week or two in advance.

On special request, we also baptize in the main worship service, which is usually the second or third Sunday of the month. This service is the family eucharist, and is quite busy, so a more limited number of guests (12-20) will fit. This service lasts around an hour.

Making decisions and promises

When you bring your child for Baptism, you (and your chosen godparents) will be asked to declare publicly on behalf of your child that you believe in God and that you will bring your child up to follow Jesus.

You will be asked to answer, on your child’s behalf, that you have decided to turn away from everything which is evil or sinful and instead to turn towards Christ.

These are serious promises, and they should be powerful to you. Choose your godparents carefully, that they know what a privilege and responsibility they are taking on. Godparents must be baptized themselves, ideally confirmed and regular members of a church, but definitely baptized. Normally you will choose two godparents the same gender as your child, and one the opposite gender. Our maximum permitted number of godparents is 5. We will ask them to attend preparation with you.

Do I have to be a regular churchgoer?

No, parents often want their children christened for a variety of reasons, the main one perhaps being they would like to thank God for the birth of their child, or just because they were baptized themselves and it feels like it is something that should be done! You don’t have to go to church regularly to have a christening, but we encourage you to start coming along to make it feel special on the day, and come back afterwards so that your child can learn what it is you have done for them!

Having your child baptized is a good opportunity to think about your own faith and the faith of your child. Our faith journeys never end, and at Saint Peter’s everyone who wants to explore their faith is welcome.

What if I am not sure about those promises or my own faith in God?

If you are not sure if you can make these promises, or about your desire to raise your child as a Christian, there is still a service that you can have called a ‘Thanksgiving Service’. It is a special church service, different from a christening, which can be used as a way to say thank you to God for your child.

It’s possible to have this service instead of a christening if you decide that now isn’t the right time to have your child baptized. Or, you could even have the Thanksgiving service as well as a christening.

You might also choose this service when your baby is just born, or if you have adopted a child into your family and you simply want to celebrate this with special words said by a minister in church. Please ask for more information.