If you are looking at this page, you may be thinking about baptism for yourself or one of your children (otherwise known as a Christening). If so, we’re delighted that you’ve made it this far and we look forward to welcoming you at All Saints’, Orpington. Our church offers baptism to everyone and we aim to make it a rewarding and memorable experience.
Baptism is one of the Church’s sacraments – a visible sign of God’s love for us in which he bestows his life-giving grace upon us. Jesus was himself baptised at the start of his public ministry. He told his followers to baptise others as a sign of their entry into his church and that they had turned away from their old direction in life to begin a new life walking with him: a life lived in love, peace and grace. Jesus was so passionate about the Church that he referred to it as ‘His’ Body.
Today, baptism continues to mark an individual’s entrance into the Church. At Baptism God’s Spirit descends on them and his Grace spiritually enfolds them from that moment forward and for all eternity. This is marked in the service by the washing with Holy Water and anointing with Holy Oils.
This life-long spiritual protection also requires a response from each of us if it is to fulfil its full potential within us and this involves continuing to work at growing our faith, conducting good works and dedicating ourselves to God through worship and commitment to his Church.
In Baptism you will make promises to God and the Church Community. If it is a young child who is being baptised, then their parents and godparents have to make those promises for them. They agree to commit to bringing that child up as a Christian in the life of the Church and teaching them by good example. This includes attending church with them regularly and encouraging them to attend church children’s groups so that they may learn more about God and be well enough informed to make their own minds up when they become an adult (they can’t do that if they are not taught what it is really all about!).
Whether you are seeking baptism for yourself or for your child, it marks a new start: a decision and commitment to follow Jesus Christ within your own household and within the family of the Church. As such, Baptism is never a private affair: the community should always be present. For this reason, there could be multiple baptisms on any one occasion. The usual times for our baptisms are either during our Sunday Parish Eucharist (9.30am) or at 3.00pm on the first Sunday of the month (but this still leaves plenty of room for you to invite up to 70 guests). We regret that due to the sheer volume of enquiries that we get, we are usually unable to offer baptisms outside of these times.
We have all been to those baptisms where the priest is tired and grumpy, only close relatives attend, nobody joins in and the service is dull and meaningless, with everyone just wanting to get it over with and wishing they could get to the pub. The format at All Saints’ looks to avoid such a disheartening scenario. Your baptism is an occasion for joy and calls for joint celebration of your family together with your new Church family too!
For this reason, we ask that you and your family attend church leading up to the baptism and, hopefully, following it too. If you live in another parish than All Saints’ and are not on the electoral roll of the parish, you can still be baptised at All Saints’, but first of all All Saints’ must ask for the goodwill of the clergy in the other parish before we proceed with the baptism.
We will advise you of available dates following your initial contact with us so that you can decide which available date best suits you. TO AVOID DISAPPOINTMENT, PLEASE ENSURE THAT YOU HAVE MADE A CHURCH BOOKING BEFORE EXPLORING A PARTY VENUE OR MAKING ANY OTHER ARRANGEMENTS.
There is no fee for a baptism. It is a free gift from God and his Church! But it does cost a great deal to maintain All Saints’, and we don’t get any financial support from the Government. We would, therefore, be extremely grateful if you could donate a reasonable amount on the day.
Please see our baptism leaflet for more details: Baptism – Some Guidelines – Orpington