Baptism or Christening in the White Horse Team
We love to share in your joy and thankfulness when children are born. At a baptism the child is surrounded by family, godparents and friends who commit to helping that child grow and mature in faith to fulfil their God given potential.
The terms baptism and christening are often used interchangeably: during the christening you or your child will be baptised. It is during this service that you or your child is welcomed into God’s family and marks the start of their journey of faith in the Christian church. This is an exciting journey which lasts a life-time in the company of Christian believers here and all over the world.
- All are welcome to baptism. Every parish of the Church of England can provide baptism. We therefore limit those whom we baptise to those living within in our parishes (Brokerswood, Dilton Marsh, Old Dilton, Penleigh, Stormore, Westbury and Westbury Leigh)
- If you live further afield, it is possible to be baptised within the White Horse Team. However, we would want to ensure that you receive appropriate pastoral care in your own parish and would wish to liaise with your own local minister.
- Baptisms usually take place within the main morning service in each of the churches. This is so that those being baptised can be welcomed into God’s family. There may be times when, for pastoral reasons, a baptism is arranged outside the morning service, and this can be discussed.
Setting the date
We understand that there is great excitement when celebrating the gift of a child, or when you have made the decision to become a follower of Christ for yourself. In order to avoid disappointment, please defer setting a date until you have been to one of our preparation for baptism sessions, after which dates for christening services will be discussed.
We hold regular classes throughout the year in both Dilton Marsh and at Westbury, giving you the chance to explore baptism, to prepare for the day itself and to prepare your guests for a great celebration.
Preparing for Baptism
- Baptism is a celebration like no other! Therefore, we ask prospective families to attend preparation for baptism where you will be given the chance to explore promises that are made during the service, how the church will commit to supporting you and your family as you journey together in faith, and what happens as you or your child is baptised. We will also discuss some of the more practical aspects so that you can be confident about planning for this very special day.
- In the case of an adult who wishes to be baptised (for you can be baptised at any age), there is also a period of preparation which might mean attending church for a period of time, joining a discipleship group, or meeting with the minister to explore your own journey of faith. We wish to support you as journey with God.
- Godparents are required to have been baptised themselves, and ideally confirmed and a practising member of a Christian church. If the person/people you have chosen has not been baptised it is still possible for them to support you if they are in agreement with the teachings of the Church, they will stand as sponsors.
- If it is a child being baptised, then parents and godparents make declarations on behalf of the child, on the understanding that they will do all that they can to bring up their child in the Christian faith: that they will tell them about Jesus; that they will pray with and for them; bring them to worship and events suitable for children; and set them a good example of Christian living. When they get older, children will have the opportunity to make these declarations or promises themselves, if they would like to, when they can be confirmed.
- As an adult being baptised, rather than godparents, you may like to consider a soul friend who will accompany you on your journey of faith, who will pray for you and encourage you. If you are unsure about this or who might be asked, please talk to the minister who may be able to help.
What to do next
If you would like to bring your child for baptism or are considering baptism for yourself, please get in touch with your local minister, or with our Team Administrator, Lynne Vercoe ([email protected]) or complete and send in this application form
We look forward to sharing in your journey of faith and to hearing from you
With every blessing on your journey.
Rev’d Rebecca Harris
(Westbury – All Saints/ Holy Saviour)
Rev’d Caroline Husband
(Dilton Marsh – Holy Trinity / the ‘Tin’ Church (All Saints) / St Mary’s)
If you want to know more about baptism the Church of England has more information on their website