First steps

Baptism, sometimes referred to as Christening, is the start of an amazing journey of faith for you or your child and a special day for all your friends and family. It’s so much more than a ceremony in church.

There is no difference between a christening service and a baptism service. The moment when your child has water poured on their head is the actual baptism and is at the heart of the service.

For Children
If you’re a parent interested in a Christening we want you to know that your child is precious to God. Just as you want the very best for them, so does God.

St Richard’s welcomes all babies, children and families for christenings – whatever shape that family takes. You don’t have to be married or have been a regular churchgoer – as a parent, you don’t even have to have been baptized yourself – though you could be.

But you do need to want God to be a part of your child’s life, to entrust them into God’s care and to be willing to encourage their growth in faith.

A baptism is just the beginning of this journey of faith, and so much more. Over the years to come, it’s a journey you’ll share together with your child by:

  • Being there for your child to talk to about the bigger questions of life – questions about hope, faith and love.

  • Praying for your child through the ups and downs of their faith journey.

  • Showing them practically how to make those good choices in life.

  • Helping them to learn more about their Christian faith, through church and in other ways.

So it’s a commitment to start as you mean to go on.

It’s not just royal babies who are baptized. All are welcome!

It’s not just royal babies who are baptized. All are welcome!

The Service
Our baptisms always happen within our normal Sunday worship, usually at our 10:45 am service. The baptism itself takes about ten minutes, and involves a number of important steps:

  • Promises - made by the parents and godparents on behalf of the child, and by the church to support you as a family

  • The Sign of the Cross - made on the child’s head to show that they now belong to God’s family

  • The Water - every day water cleanses and gives life, and in baptism the pouring of the water symbolizes spiritual life and the new start God gives as your child is welcomed into God’s family

  • Prayers and Welcome - the minister will pray for your child, asking for God’s blessing on you as a family, and then encourage everyone present to give you a warm welcome into God’s family - the Church.

For Adults and Young People
You are never too old to take this step, and being baptized as an adult is a wonderful experience. It’s a way of committing your life to God, publicly affirming your Christian faith and decision to follow Jesus, and a special moment of grace in your life.

The steps of the service are the same as those for children, except that you make the promises and decision to follow Jesus for yourself.

Although you can only be baptized once, if you were baptized as a child or in a different Christian tradition, there are special ways to renew the promises that were made then in a fresh way as you discover more about what it means to live them out in your life.

Talk to Craig our vicar to find out more about baptism for you or your child.

Back to the top