Holy Baptism (Christening)

What is Baptism ?

Baptism is the rite through which a person becomes a member of the Christian Church.

At Holy Trinity, we welcome enquiries for the baptism of people of any age, and seek to support the newly baptized as they grow in the Christian faith.

For a teenager or an adult to be baptized, they should have a reasonable grasp of Christian faith and also be attending church regularly. Normally they will be Confirmed either at the same service or shortly afterwards. Please Click here to view the Church of England website for additional information Babies and younger children are baptized on the clear understanding that they will be brought up as Christians within the family of the Church - their parents and godparents promise to undertake this responsibility, helped and supported by the Church.

A recent Baptism may be viewed by clicking here . The first 30 seconds or so is an audio introduction, after which the video will play (please select open or save, to play the video in your local media player in .mp4 format).

Please also discuss the options for baptism with a member of the clergy. Contact numbers and addresses are given here.

When do Baptisms take Place ?

Baptism properly belongs in the main worship of the church, but because of the numbers involved, it sometimes takes place at 12.30pm or 2.30pm on a Sunday.

Can I choose to have my Child Baptized at Holy Trinity ?

If the child lives within the parish boundaries, he or she has the right to be baptized at Holy Trinity, once preparation has taken place. This normally involves one of the clergy meeting with the parents (and if possible, the godparents) to explain the significance of the service and the promises which will be made. However, if the child is to be brought up as a Christian, attendance at church should also be a normal part of his or her upbringing, and this should start at the earliest possible age.

If the child lives outside the parish boundaries but the parents worship regularly at Holy Trinity, they will already have applied for their names to be entered on the church's Electoral Roll of members, and the same arrangements will then apply.

Otherwise if the child lives outside the parish, baptism would only be considered at Holy Trinity if exceptional circumstances apply, such as a strong and clear family link with the church. Also, the parents would be asked to obtain the goodwill of their own parish priest before arrangements are made.

What is expected after the Baptism ?

Baptism is the first step of the Christian journey; not something to get 'done' and then forget about, but something which needs to be built on throughout life. Just as we ensure our children learn intellectually through teaching and experience, so we must ensure proper teaching about and experience of what it means to be a follower of Jesus every day. That is primarily the responsibility of parents and godparents, and the Church seeks to help and support as much as possible.


  1. The meaning of confirmation

Confirmation was originally part of a wider ceremony of Christian initiation and only became a separate rite when bishops were no longer able to preside at all baptisms.

As a separate rite, confirmation marks the point in the Christian journey at which the participation in the life of Godís people which began at baptism is confirmed by the bishop. It is also when those who have been baptised affirm for themselves the faith into which they have been baptised and their intention to live a life of responsible and committed discipleship. Through prayer and the laying on of hands by the confirming bishop, the Church also asks God to give them power through the Holy Spirit to enable them to live in this way.

When confirmation is part of a combined rite including adult baptism it has a slightly different significance. In this case, as in the traditional Western service of initiation, the confirmation element signifies the gift of the Holy Spirit following on from baptism in water. The biblical model for this is Christís own baptism in which, the gospels tell us, the Spirit descended on Him when He came up out of the water after having been baptised by John the Baptist (Matthew 3:16-17, Mark 1:9-11, Luke 3:21-22, John 1:32-33).

2. The different confirmation services in the Church of England.

As in the case of baptism, there are two types of confirmation service in the Church of England, those that follow the confirmation service in The Book of Common Prayer and those that use the pattern of confirmation service contained in Common Worship.

Most confirmation services today follow the Common Worship pattern.

The text of the Common Worship Confirmation service is available on this website.

Common Worship

3. The Age of confirmation

Anyone may be confirmed who has been baptised, who is old enough to answer responsibly for themselves, and who has received appropriate preparation. In the Church of England it has been traditional for people to be confirmed in their early teens, but there is no set age for confirmation. Please contact the Priest-in-Charge for further information .

4. Preparation for confirmation

The purpose of confirmation preparation is to ensure that those who are confirmed have a proper understanding of what it means to live as a disciple of Christ within the life of the Church of England. In The Book of Common Prayer it is envisaged that this preparation will take the form of learning by heart the Apostles Creed, the Ten Commandments, the Lordís Prayer, and The Book of Common Prayer Catechism. Today a more comprehensive course of preparation is felt to be appropriate. As in the case of baptism preparation, the form that this preparation takes will vary according to the practice of the church or cathedral concerned and the particular needs and circumstances of the confirmation candidates.

5. Where confirmation takes place

Many people are confirmed in the church or cathedral that they normally attend. However, people may also be confirmed in another church in a service in which candidates from a number of different churches are combined together, and some children and young people are confirmed at their school.

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