Baptisms, Christenings and Confirmations
What’s the difference?
Baptism and Christening are different words used to describe the same thing. ‘Baptism’ means to be immersed in water and ‘Christening’ means to become a member of a Christian church. In the Church of England a baptism service is the same as a christening service.
Baptism is when the child is welcomed into the community of the Church and marks the beginning of a journey with God which continues for the rest of the child’s life. Adults who have not been baptised as a child can also be baptised.
Confirmation marks the point in the Christian journey at which you affirm for yourself the faith into which you have been baptised and your intention to live a life of committed discipleship. This affirmation is confirmed through prayer and the laying on of hands by the confirming bishop. The Church also asks God to give you power through the Holy Spirit to enable you to live in the way of Jesus.
Any parent residing in the parish of one of three Benefice churches (or adult seeking baptism) can request baptism or “christening” for their child in their local Parish Church (unless he or she has already been baptised).
You would normally ask for baptism in the parish where you live, so that your local church can then offer ongoing support. If you would like more information about what is involved then please contact one of your local Churchwardens.
Service of Thanksgiving
If you wish to defer your baby’s baptism until he or she is older, a Service of Thanksgiving is available.
In preparation for Confirmation, you will need to attend a confirmation course at which you will explore your faith with others who are thinking about confirmation and which is a safe place to ask any questions you have about God, Jesus and the journey of faith.