Baptism is a response to God’s love – a desire and a commitment to respond to God’s call to follow the example of Jesus Christ. It is also a celebration, a time to come together with family and friends; remembering that you are loved by God, are part of a wider community and have a place with God’s people. During a baptism, you make promises to God, have a sign of a cross made on your forehead in oil and are baptised with water, to represent your new life with God, and being part of God’s family.
We welcome both adults and children for baptism. (The baptism of children is sometimes called ‘Christening’). Some families prefer to have a thanksgiving ceremony for a new child instead of a baptism. Baptisms and thanksgivings are conducted during the service you usually attend. To talk about arranging a baptism or thanksgiving, please contact the office.
Here are some frequently asked questions about getting your child baptised at Ascension.
Q: I’d like to have my child baptised, can I book one over the phone?
A: No. Here at Church of the Ascension planning a baptism involves a process of preparation. Bookings are taken at the end of this preparation process.
Q: What do I need to do to have my child baptised?
A: Before children are baptised, we ask parents to participate in a preparation process.
Q: What does the preparation process involve?
A: This process covers two areas:
- We ask parents to get into the habit of bringing their children to church; so you can join in with the church family and learn more about God’s love.
- We also ask parents to attend a preparatory class. This is usually held by the vicar or another member of our staff team and will be arranged when we book a date in for your child’s baptism.
Q: Why do I have to bring my children to church?
A: At your baptism service, you will make promises both to God and to the local church about helping your children take their place within the life of the church. Our preparation process and our invitation to join in with the life of the church is simply to help you in developing a routine which will enable you to keep these promises.
Q: Do you expect me to attend church every week?
A: No. Many of our young families come twice a month. The important thing is to develop a routine, which works for you and your family.
Q: I’m worried that my children will make noise and disturb the service; will my children be welcome?
A: Here at Ascension, we understand that children often make noises, and we welcome children as children, in fact we welcome everyone just as they are. You and your family are always welcome at all of our activities – although we’ve designed some of our activities to be especially family friendly, like our informal 10:45am Sunday worship service.
Q: How long does the preparation process take?
A: We generally ask families to attend services for a period of 4 months as we have found this is a helpful length of time to settle in to the Church family and allows for any questions to come up and be answered.
Q: What about if my child is a bit older?
A: Not a problem, baptism is something that is not conditional on age. However if your child is bit older we tend to involve them more personally in the preparation process. We may, if they are old enough, ask them to make promises for themselves as opposed to getting parents to do it on their behalf. Each child is different and so this can be discussed as part of the preparation process and a suitable plan laid out then.
Q: If baptism isn’t appropriate but I would still like to mark my child’s birth, is there another option?
A: Yes, we have a service of thanksgiving, which in some cases is perhaps a more honest alternative opportunity to thank God for the safe arrival of a new addition to the family. It is still in church, before God, and you can have ‘sponsors’ rather than godparents – though they tend to fulfil the same role in family life!
Q: How do I find out more?
A: Call the church office on 023 8055 9074, come along and have a chat with us after one of our Sunday services or complete the form below: