Baptisms

We baptise both children and adults at St. Mary’s and St. John’s.

If you are thinking about baptism you probably want to decide on a date and, if it is an infant baptism, choose your godparents. In order to make these decisions you need to consider a number of points.

1. Where do you live?
As a general rule we can only baptise those who live within the parish of Langdon Hills. (You can find a map of our parish here – link will open in a new window) If you live outside the parish boundary, we would need to receive written permission from your own parish priest to consider conducting the baptism at St Mary’s or St John’s.

2. When can the baptism take place?
We usually baptise adults and infants at St John’s on the fourth Sunday of every month as part of the 11.00am service. We also baptise infants on the fourth Sunday in the month at St Mary’s in the afternoon at 3.00pm and 4pm. It is our practice to baptise candidates from two, or occasionally more, families within one service.

3. What preparation will you receive?
a). Preparation meeting
Parents and godparents within reasonable travelling distance (up to one hour) need to attend a baptism preparation meeting. This is to ensure that you understand the meaning of baptism and the responsibilities you are undertaking. A list of forthcoming dates is enclosed. However, please note these meetings are not designed for children and, unfortunately, we are unable to provide a crèche. Therefore, on this occasion, we hope you can find a baby-sitter. If this is not possible please speak to one of our ministers.

We ask you to attend one of these meetings even if you already have prior knowledge of baptisms. Not only is it beneficial to have a refresher, but it also provides an opportunity to discuss the issues with your godparents

b). Thanksgiving service
We also ask you to attend a service of thanksgiving for your child. This is part of our main Sunday morning service at St John’s church. These take place at 11.00am on the fourth Sunday of every other month by agreement with you.

This is an opportunity for you and your child to be welcomed into the local church community into which your child is to be baptised (Please do bring your child on this occasion). You will also be able to see the facilities available at St John’s where our churches’ Sunday School and other children’s work takes place.

c). Home visit
One of our ministers would like to visit you in your house. Visits should normally be after the preparation session and thanksgiving but before the baptism and will usually not take longer than half an hour. This will be an opportunity for you to raise any matters you may wish to discuss. After you have contacted us we will give you a list of list of home visit dates and ask you to let us know which ones you are unable to make. We will then inform you of the date and time that has been allocated to you.

4. Is it necessary for parents and godparents to be baptised?
Since the questions which parents and godparents answer during the infant baptism service are the same as those made by an adult candidate, it is necessary for at least one parent and all the godparents to be baptised themselves. If any are not baptised, we will be pleased to discuss this with you. Please contact Colin.

5. What paperwork do you need to send to us?
Please ask us for an application form and parent/godparent forms. For those living within the parish of Langdon Hills, please complete and return the application form together with the enclosed reply slip to the parish office as soon as possible. For those living outside the parish boundary, please wait until we have received permission from your own parish priest allowing us to conduct the baptism before you complete and return the application form and reply slip.

On the reply slip we ask you to indicate the number of guests you expect to attend the baptism to ensure sufficient seating arrangements. Parents/godparents forms should be completed and returned to the parish office before you attend the preparation meeting. If your views change either before or after attending the preparation meeting, and you no longer wish to continue with the baptism please let us know, in writing, as soon as possible. Thank you.

If you have any further questions please contact the Parish Office.

These pages on the Church of England website have more information about the meaning of Baptism.