What is Baptism (Christening)?

In baptism, you as parents are thanking God for His gift of life, making a decision to start your child on the journey of faith and asking for the Church's support. At baptism you promise to bring up your child to know God that loves them, and to help them to follow Jesus as a member of the Church.

For your child, baptism marks the start of a journey of faith, turning towards Christ and becoming a member of the local and worldwide Christian family.

Making decisions and promises

When you bring your child for baptism, you will be asked to declare publicly on behalf of your child that you believe in God and that you will bring your child up to follow Jesus.

Symbols and actions used during the service

A number of important symbols and actions will be used during the service itself:

     The sign of the cross - the priest will make the sign of the cross on your child's forehead with oil. This is like an invisible badge to show that Christians are united with Christ and must not be ashamed to stand up for their faith in him.

      Water - the priest will pour water on your child's head. Water is a sign of washing and cleansing. In baptism it is a sign of beginning a new life with God.

      Candles - Jesus is the Light of the World. Our Easter candle will be lit in the church and you will be given a lighted candle at the end of the service as a reminder of the light which has come into your child's life.

The role of godparents

Godparents make the same promises on behalf of the child being baptised as parents. Godparents promise to pray and support the child and to help the parents to bring up the child in the Christian faith. It is an important and responsible role.

You should have at least three godparents: two of the same sex as the child and one of the opposite sex. Godparents can be family members or friends. However, it is important that you choose people who will take an interest in your child's spiritual welfare and who will pray for you and your child. Godparents must themselves be baptized, and ideally should also be confirmed.

There is a dedicated website which provides more general information regarding Baptism in the Church of England -      

You might also find this leaflet useful. Baptism at Bolton Parish Church

Please don't hesitate to get in touch with us if you would like to know more about arranging a baptism. 

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