The Penwith Pilgrim Churches are always very happy to hear from parents who would like their child christened/baptised (those two words tend to be used interchangeably). We are also very happy to hear from young people or adults who would like to ask for baptism for themselves.
We have listed below a few of the questions we are often asked about baptisms in any of our churches.
Q: What exactly is Baptism?
A: Baptism or christening marks the beginning of a journey with God which continues for the rest of our lives. As you enter any of our churches you will find a font near the door. Since the times of Jesus the water of baptism represents the way people have become members of the Christian Church.
This first step is a response to God’s love. It is also a celebration, a time to come together with family and friends; remembering that your child is loved by God, is part of a wider community and has a place with God’s people.
Q: What happens in the service?
A: Baptisms take place in the church’s main service, because it’s important that the church congregation is there to provide support and a warm welcome. Water will be blessed and poured on the child’s head – the word ‘baptism’ means ‘to be immersed in water’. The child will be signed with the cross and a special oil may be used for this. Godparents and parents will make promises on behalf of the baby, prayers will be offered for the child and the family, and a candle will be given to the family as a gift from the church family.
Q: How much does the service cost?
A: The service is free. It is the welcoming of your child into the family of God through our church family and we couldn’t possibly charge for that!
Q: I live outside your parish. Can my child still be baptised here?
A: Although it is usual to have your child baptised in your local church there are often very good reasons why you may want the service at another church. It may be that you worship regularly with us, or that you were married here, or that you have only just moved away. Whatever the reason do contact our Parish Administrator and we will help as much as we can.
If you do arrange a baptism outside your own parish, as a matter of courtesy we ask that you have a letter of consent from your local vicar.
Q: One of us is Roman Catholic. Can our child still be baptised in your church?
Q: How many Godparents can we have?
A: This is entirely up to you, although we do like you to have more than one. We insist that Godparents must be old enough to make promises on behalf of the child. Although Godparents need not be confirmed members of the Church of England, they should have been baptised.
Q: As the parents of the child do we need to be baptised?
Q: How do we book the Baptism service?
A: Please come to one of our regular Sunday services or contact our vicar Karsten (01736 788 829)
The baptism usually takes place during our family services.