At St Mark's we rejoice whenever parents ask to have their child baptised (christened). Baptism is the sacrament of entry to the Church.
Baptisms usually take place during one of the regular Sunday Church Services. This enables members of the parish family to share in the welcoming of your child into the life of the Church. However it is possible to arrange for the baptism to take place at another time that suits both you and our Parish Priest.
Many parents are uncertain of what is required when they bring their child for baptism. We've prepared some answers to FAQs to help you.
Do we have to come to church every Sunday?
No. We would love to see you as often as you can come, but we don't make church attendance compulsory.
What will we have to say?
You will be asked to make promises and a statement of faith on behalf of your child. You promise to follow Christ and to bring your child up in the Christian faith. Everything is written down, so you won't have to remember it off by heart!
I am a Christian but my spouse is not. What happens then?
This is quite a common situation. Discuss it with the priest when you meet. You have probably already decided that your child will be brought up as a Christian. During the service, you will stand together with your child and the godparents, but only the Christian parent makes the promises.
We want to ask a non-Christian friend to be a godparent. Is that a problem?
Your friend cannot, in honesty, make the statement of faith and the promises involved in the baptism service. Talk with your friend about your desire to include him/her in your child's life, but explain that you don't want him/her to be dishonest. There are many ways to include your friends in the celebrations without putting them in an awkward situation.
What about christening robes?
What you dress your baby in is entirely up to you. Some families have heirloom gowns, some choose a new outfit for the day, some simply use what's clean and dry.
What does it cost?
Baptism is a gift of God. We do not charge anything. However, we do encourage you to give an offering in thanksgiving to God for the gift of your child. Everyone's situation is different; a good guide is a day's salary. Put your offering in the plate when it is passed around.
We hope we've answered some of your questions. If you have more, raise them with the priest when you meet. God bless you and your family as you prepare for this joyous occasion.