Baptisms (Christenings)

Baptism

Parents should contact the Parish Office on office@pakefieldchurch.com. or 01502 218150. Baptisms usually take place during the 10.30am service on the 4th Sunday of the month. Adult Baptisms can take place in either the church or in the sea next to the church, generally during the summer months!

Here you will find information relating to baptism (which is another name for Christening). If you want to know more please contact the Office as above.

What happens during the service?

Your child’s Baptism will normally take place during the main Sunday service.  This is so that your child can be seen to be joining the family of the Church and be welcomed into it. In turn the Church will promise to support and pray for you and your child.

The minister will make sure you know where to sit and what you need to do to take part. Some parts of the service will be for everyone to join in with, some will be for you and the godparents.

Part of the service will normally take place at the front of the church, but for the Baptism itself, parents and godparents, sometimes family and friends too, will usually be asked by the minister to gather around the font. (The font is the large stone basin on the right when you first enter the church, containing the water for baptism.)

The minister will ask the parents and godparents to make declarations on behalf of the child.

Making decisions and promises

When you bring your child for Baptism, you 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.

The declarations made by you and the child’s godparents will be made in front of the church congregation; the local Christian community will promise to support you and pray for you and your child.

Symbols and actions used during the service

A number of important symbols and actions will be used during the service itself:

  • The sign of the cross – the minister will make the sign of the cross on your child’s forehead. This is like an invisible badge to show that Christians are united with Christ and must not be ashamed to stand up for their faith in him.

The minister says: Christ claims you for his own. Receive the sign of his cross. Do not be ashamed to confess the faith of Christ crucified.

  • Water – the minister will pour water on your child’s head. Water is a sign of washing and cleansing. In baptism it is a sign of being washed free from sin and beginning a new life with God.

Being baptised with water is a sign of life, but also a symbol of death. When we are baptised, it is as though we are going under the water and then rising again out of it. It is symbolic of Jesus’ death and burial – and then resurrection. It is as though our old life is buried in the waters and we are raised to new life with Christ.

  • The welcome – the church congregation will say some formal words of welcome to acknowledge that your child has joined the Church and to show how pleased they are to have you among them.
  • Candles – Jesus is the Light of the World. You will be given a candle as a symbol that you have promised to follow the light of Christ and to lead your child to discover Jesus for him/her self.

Baptisms are wonderful occasions when we welcome people in the family of the church. To find out more about Baptisms either for children or adults, please visit the Parish Office (at the side of the Church Hall in Sunningdale Road) on Mondays, Wednesdays or Fridays between 10.00am and 12.00 noon or ring 01502 218150 or office@pakefieldchurch.com and someone will get back to you.