Baptising children as a way of welcoming them into the life of the church has been the practice of the wider church for around 1800 years. Saint John’s has baptized thousands of children since 1834. The first child baptized was James Taylor on 21st September 1834. Baptism remains a popular part of church life today with around 60 baptisms a year.
Having your child Christened is a lovely way of involving a God who loves them in their growing years. Baptism Sundays are the 1st and 3rd Sundays of each month with services at 11:15am and 12:00pm. To book your date, call into the church any Wednesday night between 6pm and 6:30pm.
Christening is simply another word for a service of baptism. Baptism is about welcoming people of all ages into the Christian family, we are saying thank you to God for the precious gift of life, saying sorry for the times we have messed up, and promising to put God and his love for us and others in the centre of who we are.
Baptising people of all ages as a way of welcoming them into the life of the church has been the practice of the wider church for 2000 years. Saint John’s has baptised thousands of people since 1834. The first person baptised in saint John’s was James Taylor on 21st September 1834. Baptism remains a popular part of church life in Shildon today with around 60 baptisms a year of babies, children, and adults.
To book a baptism simply call into the church any Wednesday between 6pm and 6:30pm. There is a simple form fill out, the date to organise, and Godparents to chat about. Each child can have six godparents. For adults, no Godparents are needed, though adult baptism is expected to be followed by a genuine desire to be a Christian and this includes becoming a regular church member. Adults may also attend a course in understanding what it means to be a Christian.
Baptisms happen on the first and third Sunday of the month with three children being baptised at 11:15am and two at 12pm. For adults and families who attend church regularly a baptism can also be arranged in the 9:30am main service.
What to expect
In the case of children, the vicar, or someone from the church, will visit their home in the week before the service to talk about what happens and chat through any questions.
When someone comes to a baptism service please be prepared for a bit of noise, there are usually lots of children present so chatter is normal. Everyone is given a service sheet on entry and this guides us through the service. The vicar will keep us right too.
After some opening words the candidates for baptism are introduced to everyone present and in the case of children the parents and godparents make some promises about looking after them well. Adult candidates make their own promises.
The vicar then anoints each candidate with oil, (a symbol of God’s Holy Spirit) and prays for them. The font is filled up with water and vicar baptises each candidate at the font pouring water on their heads as he/she does so. There are then prayers and each candidate is given a candle to remind them that God sees them as a light in the world and they are to get out there and shine bright!
Baptism don’t cost anything because God welcomes all. If those present would like to contribute to the running costs of Saint John’s Church (around £140 a day) then there is an opportunity to give as they leave.