In baptism, we thank God for his gift of life and publicly acknowledge his love. In the Anglican Church, of which St Paul’s and John’s are members, it is common to baptise young children; this is sometimes known as ‘Christening’
If you are interested in having your child baptised/Christened, we’d like to help you as you take this important step. Most importantly we want to help you work out if baptism is something that’s right for you and your child
We also offer an alternative service for those parents who want to give thanks for the birth of their child, but do not want to make the very Christian declarations that are part of the baptism service. If you are seriously considering baptism or thanksgiving then please think about the following guidelines:
Come to church!
Our baptism services take place during our main Sunday services at 10.30am at St John’s and at 9am at St Paul’s, on the third Sunday of the month. So check us out over a period of a few weeks to see what we’re like. If you do decide to go for baptism then you will be publicly and before God promising to bring up your child in the Christian family. So come and have a good look first! You might find we’re not your cup of tea, or you might be pleasantly surprised
Take a closer look
For those who are exploring baptism, one of the church’s roles is to help parents (and godparents if possible) prepare and understand properly the statements of faith and commitment they will make in a baptism. To help you do this we have developed a short workshop that is offered four times a year on a Saturday morning. In this workshop you will explore with others the Christian faith and see what baptism is actually all about (and what it isn’t!). We will also look at the alternative service of Thanksgiving for the birth of a child. This is also an opportunity for you, and the godparents if they are available, to ask questions.
Pause and reflect!
After the workshop, you may decide:
- To have your child baptised, in which case we can arrange a date
- To opt for a Thanksgiving service, in which case we can arrange a date
- To delay a decision, giving you more time to think about it
- Not to proceed with any service
Any of the above is perfectly acceptable and our job is to help you find what is right for you. We will not place any pressure on you to choose one particular option
For further information on baptism and confirmation please see the Church of England website
Do I need to believe in God to bring my child for baptism?
Yes, in the baptism service the parents and Godparents publicly declare before God their belief and faith in Him
Do I need to come to church for the rest of my life?
At baptism you are making a commitment to nurturing your child in the Christian faith and to do this by your example; the church family also promises to do this. Baptism is also the start of a child’s Christian journey and we hope that coming together with the church family to worship God will play an active part in your child’s life
Do I need to live locally to get my child baptised at St John’s or St Paul’s?
To bring a child for baptism you either need to live within the parish boundaries of St John’s Baxenden or St Paul’s Accrington, or if you don’t, then you need to be on St John’s or St Paul’s electoral roll. If you live outside the parish boundaries you can join our electoral roll after you have regularly attended services for 6 months
If I live in the Parish of St John’s or St Paul’s, can I get my child baptised at a different church?
Yes – but you can only get your child baptised at another Anglican church with the permission of the current vicar of St John’s or St Paul’s
Who do I contact for more information?
Please contact Jill Lamont, our Baptism and Thanksgiving Administrator, who will first book you in for a workshop