St Johns East Malvern

Frequently asked questions about Baptisms at Saint Agnes’

When do baptisms usually take place?

Baptisms at Saint Agnes’ are usually celebrated at the main Sunday Eucharist at 9.30am.

Who can be sponsors or godparents?

Godparents or sponsors do not need to be Anglican, but must be baptised themselves, and should be practicing Christians who are worshipping members of a church. In order to exercise their responsibilities effectively, sponsors need a mature understanding of the way of Christ, and it is desirable that they too participate in the baptism preparation program. Parents may also wish to have other friends and family members join alongside the sponsors in committing themselves to the spiritual development and wellbeing of their children. Read more on the role and responsibilities of godparents

What is the difference between a baptism and a christening?

The words baptism and christening are interchangeable and there is no difference between being baptised or christened. The word ‘baptism’ comes from the Greek verb to submerge, focusing on the physical action of immersing candidates in the baptismal waters. On the other hand, to ‘christen’ emphasises the idea that in baptism we are made one with Jesus, the Christ.

What promises do parents and sponsors to make?

Parents and sponsors make a number of promises on behalf of their children or godchildren during the baptism service. Contact the Parish Office for a list of the promises made in baptism

Is there a preparation process for baptism?

Parents at Saint Agnes’ join twice with other families to reflect on the themes and symbols of baptism and the promises they will make. Godparents also need to know what they are committing to, so they can exercise their role effectively, and it is desirable that they too participate in the preparation program. Contact the Parish Office for details of upcoming Baptism Classes.

Do we need to attend Church before the baptism service?

Baptism marks entry into the Christian community and it is appropriate that parents bring their children to Church before and after their initiation into the life of Jesus.

What happens on the day?

Parents and sponsors arrive approximately ten minutes before the service and sit in the front pews on either side of the church. Most baptisms are incorporated into the main Sunday Eucharist, which is around one hour in length. The baptism service occurs just after the homily, as a response to the Gospel, when the celebrant will invite sponsors and family members to gather around the font.

Are baptisms in the Anglican Church recognized by other Christians?

Yes. When we are baptised, we join the universal Christian Church. We are not merely members of a particular denomination or parish. Some denominations reject infant baptism but still recognise adult baptisms performed in other churches.

When can infants and young children begin to receive Communion?

Baptism marks full entry into the life of the Christian community and infants and young children are welcome to share Communion after their baptism. Some families may wish to delay the reception of Communion until they and their children receive some instruction in the nature of this sacrament. Please contact the Parish Office for details of upcoming First Communion classes.

Is there a fee for baptism?

Baptism is a gift from God and the Church and there is no fee for the service. Parents may still wish to make a special offering on this day to support the work of the church, and as an expression of their own baptismal commitment and thankfulness for the many gifts of God.

At least six weeks notice is required for baptism, except in emergencies. Please complete the attached Baptism Application Form, or contact the Parish Office to have one sent to you, or to enroll in the preparation classes. A decision to proceed with baptism is not necessary in order to participate in the program and those who simply want to enquire or know more about the sacraments of the church are welcome to attend.