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Parish of the Woodford Valley with Archers Gate and Kings Gate

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Christening/Baptism

Christening is an old English term that essentially means the same as Baptism, the term used in the Bible. We use both expressions.

Baptism is the special service in which people are welcomed into the family of the Church. It is a sacrament – a practical expression of the spiritual reality of a person becoming a Christian. For children who are too young to have a real understanding of the ceremony promises are made on their behalf that they can choose to own themselves later in their life. Older children and adults make those promises themselves after a period of preparation.

How do I arrange for my baby or child to be Christened or myself to be Baptised?

In the first instance contact the Vicar Rev. Mike Perry (woodfordvicar@gmail.com). He will talk with you and arrange the service.

When and where do Baptisms take place?

There are no restrictions as to when and where baptisms take place. Generally they occur on a Sunday in one of our Churches. We will explore with you whether that is during the main service or at another time. Regardless of the time we want you and your family to feel welcome during this sacred service of celebration.

Is there a charge?

Baptism is the free gift of God and we don’t make a charge. Some families choose to make an offering but that is entirely up to you. At services outside of the main Sunday service there is an opportunity to have a collection as people leave the church, half of which can go to a charity of your choice.

Who will baptise my child or me?

Any ordained member of our team can baptise. If you know us you are welcome to express a preference.

What are godparents and how do I choose them? Are they necessary?

Becoming a godparent is a huge honour and a very special responsibility. Godparents say the christening promises for children who are too young to understand them. They also promise to pray for them, introduce them into the community of the church and help them understand the meaning of what it is to be a Christian. If the person being baptised is old enough to know their own mind then in place of godparents they have sponsors who stand by them during the service and as they grow in faith.

The person taking the service can discuss with you regarding the number of godparents. Godparents do need to have been baptised themselves, however, if the people you would like to choose are not, we can talk with you about how they can be involved in the service. Don’t forget, in the busy-ness of life, becoming a godparent can be a good time for a person to spiritually take stock of their lives and choose to be baptised themselves.

Can I be Baptised as an adult, and what is Confirmation?

There is no upper or lower age limit for baptism. If you would like to be baptised as an adult come and talk to us. If you have already been baptised as a child then we can talk about Confirmation, a related service when people formally take on the vows made for them at baptism and a Bishop prays that the Holy Spirit of God might be with them.

Will I have some commemoration of the baptism?

The person being baptised will be given a certificate and at the end of the service will be given a special candle which can be lit each year on the anniversary if you so choose. Godparents will each have a card to remind them of the day and ask them to pray for your child. All baptisms are entered in the parish registers. Eventually, when those registers are full, they are placed in the county records library. You can always ask to see them.

After the service too we aim to keep in touch, inviting you to relevant events of the church. During the church community itself commits itself to supporting you and your child and we would hope to be there for you.

If christened at All Saints, children’s names are entered on a cradle roll; these are currently hung on the western wall of the main part of the church.

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