Baptism of a child

We are delighted that you are considering having your child baptised.

Baptism marks the beginning of a journey with God which continues for the rest of our lives. This first step is a response to God's love. It is also a celebration, a time to come together with family and friends; remembering that your child is loved by God, is part of a wider community and has a place with God's people

At the christening, water will be poured on the child’s head - this is the baptism (the word 'baptism' means 'to be immersed in water'). The child will be signed with the cross. A candle from the church will be given. Godparents and parents will make promises on behalf of the child, and prayers will be offered for the whole family.

There is no difference between a ‘Christening’ service and a ‘Baptism’ service - some churches will use the word 'baptism' and some the word 'christening'.

We welcomes all babies, children and families for christenings - whatever shape that family takes. You do not have to be married to ask for a christening for your child. You do not have to have been a regular churchgoer. As parents, you do not even have to have been baptised, though this may be the time in your life when you wish to consider the possibility for yourself.

Godparents are some of the most important people at the Christening. (Godparents are not the people who will care for your child should anything happen to you - arrangements for this would normally be made by a will.) Godparents should be people who will be there for your child and help them think about the bigger questions in life - questions of love, hope and faith.

Every child should have at least three godparents, two of the same sex and at least one of the opposite sex. Parents may be godparents for their own children, providing they have at least one other godparent. Because Godparents are asked to make some serious promises about how they will influence the child, it makes sense that they themselves are old enough to make such promises, and are themselves baptised. (This is required by church law.)

As a parent or godparent you should ask yourself:

  • Are you prepared to the best of your ability to give the child a Christian upbringing within the family of Christ’s Church?
  • Will you help the child by being regular in public worship and private prayer, not only by your teaching but also by your example and your prayers?
  • Will you encourage the child in due time to come to Confirmation and Communion?

Usually baptisms are held separately from the main Sunday service, later in the day. Sometimes several children will be baptised at the same service: we aim to be flexible and personal. Though we try to respond positively to requests, it is not always practically possible to arrange baptisms for those living outside the parish.

A Christening service is free: baptism is, after all, an expression of God’s free, unbounded love for the child. But we welcome donations, because we need to preserve the church building for future generations, your children and their children.

If you want to proceed with plans to have your child baptised, you should contact the Parish Office.  Tel: 01423 869209

Knaresborough Parish Office, The Parsonage, Vicarage Lane, Knaresborough, HG5 9AE

There is more information about baptism here.