Becoming part of the Christian family around the world through the ceremony of baptism is one of the most important choices we can make either for ourselves or for our children. Christening is another name for this same service which takes place only once in a lifetime. It is a time for celebration and commitment. Often this service is conducted for infants, and so parents and godparents make the promises on their behalf. But we are also finding an increasing number of adults who for some reason were not christened as children and now decide to be baptised and so they make the promises for themselves.
We conduct baptisms in all three of our parish churches - in Orsett, Bulphan, and Horndon-on-the-Hill. Baptisms normally should take place in the parish where you live unless there is a strong connection to another church. If the baptism is taking place here and you live elsewhere, we ask that you request permission from your local vicar first.
Baptisms can take place during any Sunday morning service. Family services are especially appropriate (second Sunday of the month in Orsett and Bulphan, third Sunday in Horndon-on-the-Hill). We also conduct baptisms at 2.30 on Sunday afternoons (except for the first Sunday of a month). Baptisms are public services rather than private ones, but because of the size of our churches and the number of guests often invited we try to keep the limit to two family groups at any one service.
For children, godparents are chosen. Usually this would be two godfathers and one godmother for a boy, and two godmothers and one godfather for a girl. Each godparent must have been baptised themself, as there are important Christian promises that they make on behalf of the child. If the person you would like to have as a godparent is not already baptised, please check with the clergy and we may be able to arrange for their baptism as well.
Please see the right 'Contacts' sidebar for the contact details of the Baptism Coordinators for each of the three churches.
Shortly before the date of the baptism, one of the clergy will arrange to make a home visit to explain the service and answer any other questions that you might have about church life. We will also invite you back to the next Family Service when there will be an official welcome by the parish, and the baptism certificates and godparent cards are presented.