Baptism information

Like all the Sacraments of faith, Baptism is a communal event; a celebration of the whole parish and church community. Please consult our Parish Baptism Policy.

In Baptism, God adopts us as children and makes us a new creation through water and the Holy Spirit. This is the first stage of Christian Initiation: the others being Confirmation and Eucharist. As we are signed with the gift of the Spirit in Confirmation, God brings us to the full stature of the Lord Jesus to continue his mission in the world. At the table of the Eucharist, we are fed on the Sacrament of Christ’s body and blood, and, with the whole church, take part in the saving offering of Christ on the cross.

The baptisms of babies or infants are prepared for and celebrated in a different way to that of children of catechetical age or adults. The information below is relevant only to baptism of babies or infants. For all other cases, please contact your parish priest for information.

Who?

Catholic parents are asked to have their children baptized as soon as is practical after birth, and so they are urged to contact their parish priest as soon as possible after the birth, or even before it.

At least one parent or lawful guardian must be a Catholic, unless there are exceptional circumstances and some way to ensure that the child will be brought up in the faith. Baptism is celebrated as the first stage of Christian Initiation and NOT as a means to enable enrolment in a Catholic school.

Where?

Baptism is ordinarily celebrated in the parish where the candiate (baby/infant, child, adult) lives. However, sometimes families desire to have the baptism performed in a parish where their extended families live. The family must approach their own parish for preparation, comply with its policies and notify this parish that preparation has been undertaken.

In the same way, families in this parish need to speak to the parish priest here before seeking to have children baptized in another parish. A simple preparation course is offered to families, especially for the baptism of their first child.

When?

We celebrate baptisms on Sundays unless there is a good reason for another time. Families are encouraged to celebrate baptism during Sunday Mass (including Saturday evening). When outside Mass, families are asked to negotiate a suitable time with the priest.

How?

The parish performs baptism by immersion, which is outlined during preparation or in discussion with the priest.

Sponsor = Godparent

In so far as possible, the child is assigned a sponsor, otherwise known as a godparent. One godparent is sufficient, but two is acceptable.

A sponsor helps present the child for baptism with the parents (and later presents the child to the bishop for Confirmation). The sponsor undertakes to support the parents in their primary role as Christian parents: to teach their child to love God and neighbour. The sponsor, therefore, must be a Catholic who has received Confirmation and Holy Communion. They must also live a life of faith befitting this role, and be aged no younger than sixteen.

A member of another Christian Church may be admitted in company with a Catholic sponsor as a ‘witness’ to the baptism. This usually occurs when one of the child’s parents is a member of another Christian Church who wishes for a member of their Church to be involved. This person is also to be a good model for living the Christian faith. This person is listed as a Christian Witness. However, all Christian people present at a baptism are themselves christian witnesses.

Cost

The parish seeks a contribution from famileis in line with a diocesan schedule. The contribution is to the parish, not the priest, and assists the parish to help cover administrative expenses and the maintenance of sites. Please consult our Parish Baptism Policy.


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