Christenings

Christening (sometimes referred to as Baptism ) Christenings at st stephen st julian st albans

We are delighted you are interested in finding out more about Christening (or baptism – the words refer to the same event).

Who can be christened?

Christening is the way the church marks the beginning of life as a Christian, a follower of Jesus Christ.

Adults of any age can decide to take this step for themselves.

Parents can also bring their children to be christened. The birth of a child is a wonderful event, which may have prompted you to think about what is important in life. Parents of course want the very best for their children and bringing their children to church to be christened is one way of expressing this.

Why be christened?

A christening service can be a joyful family celebration, but it is more than that. Christening is the ceremony through which people can formally join the church community: it is one of the sacraments at the heart of Christian life. A church is not just a building – it is a community of people, both young and old, who seek to follow Jesus Christ. It welcomes new members of any age who also want to follow Christ.

During a christening service adult candidates for christening, or parents and godparents of children, are asked about their own belief in God and their own decisions to turn from evil and turn towards God. Do you want this?

They are also asked if they want to live and bring their children up within the family of the church. Is this what you want? Do think about these questions carefully.

The reason at least one parent and all godparents must have been christened (and be adults) is that this demonstrates that they have made these choices for themselves.

If you decide you cannot make the christening promises, but would still like to ask for God’s blessing on your child, a service of thanksgiving can be arranged. Please talk to one of the clergy about this.

How can we explore this further?

The next step is to come along to church a few times (service times are here), to get a better sense of what the church community is like. You may find the family services at either church most appropriate if you have young children, while at other services at St. Stephens’s there is a creche.

What about a date for christening?

If you are willing to take on these responsibilities after your visits to church, mention to one of the clergy that you are considering christening. They will invite you to a preparation session. These are held once a month, on a Saturday morning at 10am, where you will be able to talk more about christening along with other families thinking about the same step. Children are welcome too! This will help you to think more about why you are seeking christening, hear more about the christening service and why it is important to the church, and have a chance to ask any questions you may have. It is at these sessions that suitable date and time for your christening – which can take place at either of our two churches – can be fixed.

What happens after christening?

Christening is only a beginning of the Christian journey. You or your child will only grow in their Christian faith if you help to teach them the Christian stories and explore with them what it means to follow Jesus today. Lots of help is available.

You could come to Tots and Teddies, our weekly gathering for babies, toddlers and their carers, which takes place at St Julian’s on Wednesdays from 10.30am to 11.30am. It runs as Summer Tots and includes slightly older children during school holidays, but does NOT run over half terms. Just check the calendar on our News and Events page to see when it is running.

A celebration event for those who have been christened during the year is sometimes run – again, check News and Events.

There are many adult activities in the parish too where you would be most welcome (like the Parish Parents Group – see the foot of the Children welcome page). Dates are on our News and Events page. Other members of the church can tell you more, or you can always talk to the clergy.

Being a Christian is a challenging but exciting journey. We are delighted you are considering christening and look forward to meeting you soon.

You can also find out more about christening at https://www.churchofengland.org/weddings-baptisms-funerals.aspx

 


We look forward to sharing this special day with you.