Approved by Clarendon Team Council 11th March 2020
To be reviewed March 2022
Baptism (Christening) is an opportunity to respond to the love of God and invite him to share in our lives.
In the early Christian Church baptism was for adults alone but was gradually offered for children too. The Church today celebrates the baptism of people of all ages. It is our hope and prayer that those baptised as children will claim the Christian faith for themselves when they are older, by renewing their baptismal promises in the presence of the Bishop at a service of Confirmation.
If you live within the Clarendon parishes (or have a living connection to one of them, e.g. family members currently living or worshipping in one of the parishes) you are very welcome to ask for baptism. Whenever possible baptisms will take place within the main Sunday service, so that the whole congregation can offer a warm welcome to you and your family. We believe that baptism is the beginning of a lifelong journey of faith, and encourage you to develop a pattern of worship which enables us to continue our support and prayer for you.
It is a requirement that Godparents are baptised themselves as they are making declarations of Christian faith on behalf of a child. Occasionally families ask to include a special role for supporters who are not baptised. We usually refer to these as ‘sponsors’. Ideally at least one of the Godparents will also be Confirmed, but this is not always possible. Adult candidates for baptism do not need Godparents.
We look forward to welcoming parents/carers of children to be baptised to a Baptism Preparation session. Godparents are also welcome to attend. This often includes a short DVD, a discussion and a look at the order of service. The session will be tailored to the needs of the individual or family. For adults seeking baptism, a discipleship course such as Alpha, Emmaus or Pilgrim is offered.
No part of this policy replaces any requirements on the parish or clergy made under Canon Law.