If you are wanting to arrange for the Baptism (same as Christening) of either your baby, your child or yourself, it is necessary to approach the Vicar in the first instance. She will explain the following requirements:-
1. Residential Qualification
Generally speaking, you are required to be resident within the boundaries of the parish of Cobham or Luddesdowne. This is not a legal qualification but a pastoral one. Baptism is the initiation of a person of any age into the Christian Church. In order to fulfil the promises made by baptismal candidates or their parents/godparents at their Baptism, they will need to live near enough to become regular members of their local church, so the closer they are to it, the easier it is to nurture that bond and fulfil their baptismal pledge. However, every application will be given careful consideration by the Vicar.
2. Thanksgiving Service
This is the first step towards the Baptism (Christening) of a baby. The Thanksgiving Service is an informal service which takes place on any Sunday that is mutually convenient to the family and to the Vicar, in which the parents give thanks for the safe arrival and gift of their baby. Within the service the Vicar will take the baby in her arms, ask the parents to name the baby, and then bless him or her. The service, is NOT a Baptism Service. There are no godparents, no water is applied, and no promises are made.For some, that is all they require and they take the matter no further. Others require the Service of Baptism.
3. Baptism Service
This takes place in the context of a Family Service. At Baptisms, the candidates (or parents/Godparents in the cases of babies and young children) make promises concerning their Christian faith, and their determination to renounce sin and follow Christ. This will involve the support of the church, and the regular attendance of the family at appropriate services in that church. As an outward sign of that commitment and of the forgiveness Jesus Christ offers us through his death on the Cross, at the font the candidate has water sprinkled on his/her head in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, and a Cross drawn by the Vicar with her wet finger on their forehead as a token of their initiation into the Church of Christ.
Before either of these services can take place, the Vicar will call round to your home to meet you and explain the service to you, and answer any question you may have. No fees are charged for either of these services.
Please contact The Rev'd Canon Alyson Davie for further information about Baptisms at Cobham & Luddesdowne email:firstname.lastname@example.org or alternatively please phone 01474 - 812068 (Rest Day:- Friday).
For more general information on being baptised please click here to visit 'The Church of England' site where you will find useful questions and answers to help you.