First Steps on an Amazing Journey

What is christening?

Your child is precious to you and precious to God. You want the very best for them, and so does God. You want them to make right choices in life, for themselves and for others.

A christening is just the beginning of this and so much more.

Over the years to come, it’s a journey you’ll share together with your child by:

  • Being there for your child to talk to about the bigger questions of life – questions about hope, faith and love.
  • Praying for your child through the ups and downs of their faith journey.
  • Showing them practically how to make those good choices in life.
  • Helping them to learn more about their Christian faith, through their church and in other ways.

So it’s a commitment to start as you mean to go on.

I baptise you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

What happens at a christening?


“The vicar will welcome everyone and especially the child who will be christened and their family. There will be a Bible reading, and the vicar will also talk about what christening means.”

The Promises

“The parents and godparents will make some important promises for the child in the service. Everyone promises to continue supporting the child from this moment.
The vicar says "... people of God will you welcome this child and uphold them in their new life in Christ?", everyone present says "... with the help of God, we will."”

The Sign

“Often, this is the point in the service when parents and godparents will be invited to come out to stand at the front with the child. In many churches, a special oil may be used to make the sign of the cross on the child's forehead. It's a significant moment, which marks the child as belonging to God.
The vicar will say, "...Christ claims you as his own. receive the sign of the cross."”

The Water

“Water which is blessed in the church's font will be poured over the child's head by the vicar. This is the child's baptism. It's a sign of a new beginning and becoming a part of God's family.
The vicar says: "... I baptise you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen"”

Prayers and Welcome

“The vicar, or someone else from the church, will pray for the child and for those who will support them in their path of faith.
Everyone present welcomes the child into the family of the church with words given in the service.”

A Candle

“A candle may be given to the child at the end of the christening or sometimes at a service soon afterwards.
The vicar says: "...Shine as a light in the world to the glory of God."”

Frequently Asked Questions

Do parents have to be christened?

Parents don’t have to be christened before they can have their child christened.

Is a baptism different to a christening?

There is no difference between a baptism and a christening. Visit this page to find out why you might have heard both these words used.

Can anyone have a christening service?

Yes, so long as they have not been baptized already.

At what age should a child be christened?

You can have your baby or child christened at any age but there are different forms of the service for older children and adults.

Where can we hold the christening?

A christening can take place in your local parish church.

Find out More