We welcome all people to our church, wherever you are on your journey of faith. We encourage reflection, question and discussion to help us explore and deepen our Christian faith. We strive to reach the needs of our congregation, the local community and beyond.

Baptism

If you are looking at the page, you may be thinking about baptism for yourself or one of your children.  If so, we’re delighted that you’ve made it this far and we look forward to welcoming you at St Mary Magdalene.  The church offers baptism to everyone and we aim to make it a rewarding and memorable experience. There are, however, a few, simple expectations which are detailed below.  These are there mainly to make sure that you and/or your children are suitably prepared for baptism and that we have the opportunity to get know each other.

Baptism is one of the Church’s sacraments – a visible sign of God’s love for us. Jesus was himself baptized as the sign of a new beginning. He told his followers to baptize others as a sign that they had turned away from their old life and begun a new life with him. In the Church of England it is common to baptize young children; this is sometimes known as ‘Christening’. Whether you are seeking baptism for yourself or for your child, it marks a new start: a decision to follow Jesus Christ within the family of the Church.

Some helpful information from the Church of England can be found by clicking here.

Can I or my child be baptised at

St Mary Magdalene?

You or your children can be baptised at St Mary Magdalene (1) if you are resident in the parish or (2) if you regularly attend services at our church.  Those who live outside our parish and do not attend our services regularly should approach their own parish church.  Details of your parish can be found here.

Sometimes those who live elsewhere but have a long-term connection with the parish may wish for baptism at St Mary Magdalene.  For example, this might be if it was your childhood church and your parents still live in the parish.  If this is the case, please contact the Vicar who will help you to explore the possibilities.

Is there anything that I or my child will be expected to do?

We like to get to know candidates and their families as much as possible before the baptism.  In our experience this makes the baptism service a much more intimate experience.  As a result, we hope that candidates for baptism attend church with their families twice a month for about three months before the date of baptism. You will need to attend a baptism preparation meeting along with other parents and/or candidates.  This is very informal and usually takes place in the Althorp on Bellevue Road.  The meaning of baptism and the significance of the promises that are made will be discussed at this meeting and it is a good opportunity to ask any questions you may have.

When do baptisms happen?

Baptisms normally take place on one Sunday each month, during the regular Parish Eucharist at 10.00am. We will advise you of available dates and times when you contact us so that you can decide which date suits you best. These dates and times can also be seen on the Church Diary.  There will normally be up to four baptism candidates at each service.  We are not able to offer baptisms outside of these times.

Godparents

Godparents make the same promises as parents to help raise children in the Christian faith. It is an important and responsible role. Godparents can be family members or friends and should ideally be baptised themselves. Choose people you trust to take an interest in your child’s spiritual welfare. Usually there are three godparents – two female and one male for a girl and vice versa for a boy.

Perhaps you would like to invite your chosen godparents to a Sunday morning service?  They are also very welcome to attend the baptism preparation evening.

Next Steps

If you would like to take this further, we would love to hear from you.  Please contact the Parish Office and complete and return the baptism application form.  We hope that your own or your child’s baptism will be a wonderful and memorable occasion and that it will mark the beginning of a long and happy association with St Mary Magdalene.