Welcoming your child into the family of the Church


Baptism is all about belonging - belonging to the family of God, and being a part of Jesus Christ. Whether it is a newborn baby, or someone much older who decides to join the family of the Church, Baptism or Christening changes us, making us members of Jesus Christ in the Catholic Church.
Baptism is not just a matter of "getting the baby done"! Nor is it just about a family celebration or getting a place in a Catholic School. Baptism is a SACRAMENT - a meeting with God, a moment when God's power touches and changes the one being baptised, making them a new creation, a child of God and a member of the Church. For this reason it is a serious decision for parents to make, since they promise before God and the Church to bring their child up in the faith they are choosing for them. Parents will be expected to show some commitment to the Catholic Faith, and a willingness to deepen and develop their own practice. For this reason there is a "journey" of preparation - it is not about booking a date and turning up. For more information, read on ...

No one buys a house without a lot of thought and reflection - and the same is true for buying a new car, a new job, even a new iPhone! Similarly entering into a relationship, getting married, having children - these represent major commitments in our lives, and so we do not take them lightly. How much more thought and reflection should there be in choosing a religion for our child! Christening or Baptism is not a "one-day" thing - it is about a life choice. Think for a moment about choosing a religion for yourself: you would be very aware of the consequences for your daily life. Now think the same thoughts for your child - realising that you will be responsible for your child's religion for the next few years!

Having said that, the requirements for a child being baptised in the Catholic Church are fairly straightforward:
  • At least one parent must be a baptised Roman Catholic
  • You must be willing to bring your child up in the Catholic Church
  • You must live in the Parish

Assuming you can tick these boxes, we can move forward. As said above, there is a "journey of preparation" for parents before a child is baptised. This is not too difficult! It happens in three phases:

1. A bit of paperwork
You need to register at the Parish Office and find out about the necessary paperwork (mainly proofs of baptism of parents and godparents); the secretary will explain everything you need at this stage. Once you have completed this, you will be booked in for part 2! You can use the email contact form to the right to make an appointment with the Office.

2. Meeting with the Priest
This will normally be an evening meeting, probably with several couples. It is important that both parents attend, so this will be time to find a babysitter! At this meeting we will talk about the meaning of baptism, and give you some thoughts about raising your child as a practising member of the Church. All being well, we will look at booking a date for your child's baptism at this meeting.

3. Attending Church (including a "Welcome ceremony")
If you have not been attending Church we will have a chat about how to help you with this, but you will be expected to attend for about six weeks before the christening (and ideally continue afterwards, of course!) We will arrange for a special welcome ceremony at one of the Sunday Masses, when the parish will greet you and your child and promise to pray for you!

There is a lot to think about when having a child baptised - much more than just the practical arrangements. Please have a think about your own faith and where it fits in your life. To help, watch this five minute video - sorry it's American, but bear with it, it explains a lot!
If your child is already in Year 2 of Primary School, you are on the wrong page! Go here instead and look for "Junior Catechumenate"!
A non-Catholic parent does not have to change their religion, but they do have to agree to do what they can within their own faith to help the Catholic parent bring up their child in the Catholic Church.
If your child has had their second birthday the journey of preparation will be slightly different, to respect their own growing understanding and awareness. The priest will advise you on this!

You can phone during Office Hours on 0161 724 1765 or, if it's more convenient, use this email form to make your first appointment. Make sure you put your name, email address and "Baptism" as the subject. Please add your child's age (in years and months)
Age of Child to be Baptised