Alcester Minster Churches
Worshipping God, making new disciples and transforming communities
What is Baptism?
Arranging a Baptism
What is a Thanksgiving?
Frequently Asked Questions
Baptism is a very special occasion for you and your family but also for the church community. Before we make any arrangements, or you approach any potential godparents, we would like to get to know you and to help you understand what Baptism is all about.
Baptism or 'Christening', as the name indicates is about Jesus Christ, who was baptised in the River Jordan. Baptism is a celebration of God’s unconditional love towards the person being baptised, whether as a child or an adult. When a child is too young to speak for themselves, parents and godparents promise on behalf of the child and themselves, to believe and trust in Jesus Christ and put Him first in their lives.
When these children grow up, they can decide to follow Jesus for themselves in a service we call 'Confirmation'.
Apart from at St Nicholas Alcester, baptism will be part of a regular Sunday morning service, and will include a welcome to the newly baptised from the congreation. Because baptism at Alcester takes place at a special afternoon service, this welcome including the giving of the Baptism Certificate takes place at a Sunday Life family service (11am on 4th Sunday).
For baptisms in the Church of England, normally you should live in the parish where the baptism is to take place or regularly attend worship there.
To arrange a baptism in one of the Minster churches, come along to a service and ask for details. A booklet explaining baptism and an application form will be given to you. On it you will need to give details of godparents. We advise you choose at least two godparents (one of each sex), ideally three (two of the same sex as the child), and no more than four (2 of each sex). Godparents must have been baptised and ideally, confirmed, as their role will be to support and guide your child in the Christian faith.
Once the application form has been completed and returned, the administrator will then contact you confirming the date of the baptism and agreeing when you will attend the baptism preparation session (which are currently held on the 2nd Sunday afternoon each month from 3-4pm in Church House, Alcester). At this session, we consider what Baptism is all about, by means of a DVD, and discuss the promises to be made.
A Service of Thanksgiving is exactly what it says. It is an opportunity to give thanks to God for the safe arrival of your child. Perhaps you don’t feel ready to make the promises in the baptism service, or simply wish to express your gratitude in a special way.
If you would like to give thanks to God for the safe arrival of your child, then a simple Service of Thanksgiving can be arranged quite quickly. This would take place in one of our Sunday morning services. There is no need for godparents; there are no promises to be made; there is no use of water.
Do I have to be baptised in order to have my children baptised?
Parents need not themselves be baptised but godparents are required to be.
Can a member of another faith be a godparent?
Members of other Christian churches (Roman Catholic, Methodist, Baptist, etc.) can be godparents as long as they have been baptised but members of other faith groups cannot, because they will not have been baptised. Your friends of other faiths may wish to support you in the decision you have made and attend the service.
Do we have to be married before our child can be baptised?
No. Baptism is about your child. However, you are promising to bring up your child in the Christian faith and Christians hold marriage to be the right and proper relationship in which to bring up children. If you are considering marriage why not discuss this with one of the ministers.
Can I have my child baptised without my partner’s agreement?
It would not be wise to go ahead with a Baptism if it were likely to cause friction within the family. Religious faith is a deeply personal matter and can be the source of hurt within a relationship when partners do not agree. Please discuss this further with one of the ministers.
What does it cost?
God’s love is freely given and therefore there is no charge for a Baptism. You may, however, like to make a voluntary donation towards the on-going costs of the church where the Baptism will take place, and most services include an opportunity to do so.
I don’t feel that I know enough about the Christian faith myself. How could I learn more?
A good place to start is to attend a service at church regularly. We run small groups fortnightly that help support people to live as Christians. Also we run the Food for Life course, from time to time, which is a six session introduction to the Christian faith and is a great place to begin your exploration of Christianity. Please speak to one of the ministers about this.
Alcester Minster Churches - 07840 284 294 (Administrator) 01789 764 261 (Rector)