Baptism (also known as Christening) at St Mary’s and St John's 
Thank you for your interest in baptism at one of our churches. We hope the
information below helps you to understand how to explore this further but please
don’t hesitate to get in touch if there’s anything you’re unsure about.

Can I have my child baptised at one of your churches?
If you live within the parish of Langdon Hills we would be very happy to explore
baptism for your child or children further with you. To check whether you live in our
parish, visit and enter your postcode. The next page will
show a list of results, and at the top will show which parish you live in. If you don’t
live in our parish, you can also be eligible for baptism if you are on our church
‘electoral roll’, which you can be added to if you have been worshipping regularly (or
are willing to worship regularly) at one or both of our churches for six months. If
neither scenario applies to you, our Rector will consider your request and will let you
know if we can help further, but usually we would encourage you to contact your own
local parish church, which you’ll be able to see on the ‘a church near you’ website.
They will be delighted to hear from you. We can put you in contact with them if that
would be helpful.

What are the next steps?

  •  Attend an ‘Exploring Baptism’ session                                                                                                                                                                                                                  If we can proceed with your enquiry (as above), the next step is to attend one of our
    ‘Exploring Baptism’ sessions which normally take place on the first Tuesday of every
    month, 7.30pm at St John’s Church, Forest Glade, Langdon Hills, SS16 6RX. Please
    let our Parish Administrator, Nikki Hall, know if you would like to book in to attend
    one of these sessions by clicking on the ‘Contact Me’ button. It’s also really helpful if
    any potential godparents can attend with you. Other families exploring baptism may
    be present at the same session.
    Our Rector, Jeremy Noles, will explain the meaning and purpose baptism and
    answer any questions you may have. Baptism can be a wonderful choice to make for
    your child, but does involve particular promises and commitments, so we want to
    help you think these through carefully. One of these is to bring up your child in the
    Christian faith and in the community of the church - as baptism is a mark of
    belonging to God’s family; - so if you don’t currently attend either of our churches, we
    want to help you to be sure one of them is right for you. So, the next step is…
  • Come along to church a few times
    We ask you to come along to church on any Sundays that suit you, at least three
    times over a 1-2 month period, longer if you need it. Our more traditional service is at
    St Mary’s Church, 9am every Sunday, while at St John’s the 11am service every
    Sunday is more informal and family-friendly. Our ‘All Age’ Service on the first Sunday
    of every month St John's is particularly ideal if you’re fairly new to church but you
    and your child(ren) are welcome any Sunday.
  • Meet with Jeremy, our Rector again
    Once you’ve been to church a few times, Jeremy will meet you again (and with the
    godparents too if possible, but without other parents present) to see how you’re
    feeling about the promises involved in baptism and whether you would like to go
    ahead. If so we can then book a date for the baptism at the church you would prefer.
    Jeremy will also go through exactly what happens in the service so you are able to
    feel as relaxed as possible. Baptisms always take place within the main Sunday
    service on the first Sunday of the month at St John’s (11am), or the third Sunday of
    the month at St Mary’s (9am). This is so that the regular congregation are present for
    your child’s special day to give them a warm welcome into the family of the church!

What about godparents?
Your child should normally have at least three godparents, two of whom should be
the same sex as your child, and one who is the opposite sex. You can have more
than three godparents if you wish! Two is the minimum if you are struggling to find
three. Godparents must have been baptised themselves, and should ideally have
been confirmed too. This reflects the important role they have in guiding your child
on their journey of faith. Jeremy will cover other questions about godparents at an
‘Exploring Baptism’ session.

Can I provisionally reserve a baptism date for my child?
Unfortunately we cannot reserve or book a date for your child’s baptism until you
have met with Jeremy as above, after attending an ‘Exploring Baptism’ session and
coming to church a few times.

Can I have a private/separate baptism service?
We can’t offer baptisms outside of our main Sunday services for the reason given
above - so that the church family can be present to welcome you and your child into
the family of the church.

What if I decide baptism isn’t the right step for my child?
We can offer a ’Thanksgiving for the Birth of a Child’ which is a lovely way to thank
God for the gift of your child, and doesn’t involve any specific promises or faith
commitments. This can take place either during the time you are coming along to
church, or later on, and can take place at either of our churches at any service.

How much does it cost to have my child baptised?
We do not charge for baptisms. Your child will receive a baptism certificate, a special
baptism candle and a children’s Bible as a gift from us. Godparents will also receive
certificates to remind them of the promises they have made.

I have an older child who would like to be baptised/I’m an adult and would like
to be baptised. Is this possible?
Yes! Our Rector, Jeremy, would be very happy to discuss this with you/your child as
appropriate and appropriate preparation, though again, we can normally only offer
baptism to those who live in our parish or are on our church electoral roll.

I have other questions which aren’t answered here.

Please click here for answers to other common questions on the main Church of
England website, or alternative contact Nikki Hall, our Parish Administrator by
clicking on the ‘Contact Me’ button. She will be happy to help or to put you in touch
with Jeremy if appropriate.
We hope this information is helpful and look forward to helping you explore baptism