St Robert’s, Pannal – Christenings Policy
This document sets out the essential elements and procedures of our Christenings Policy.
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.
We offer a Christening (known also as Baptism) to anyone who lives within the parish boundaries of St Robert’s seeking Christening. If you live outside the boundary we still welcome applications but would seek prior agreement from the incumbent of the parish church in which the applicant lives. The first point of contact is our Christenings coordinator. This is currently Lorraine Forbes, who can be contacted on 01423 816625 or 07749 811378. Details about Christening in the Church of England can be accessed at: www.churchofengland.org/life-events/christenings
A Christening application form can be accessed here (see below) or it can be issued by the Christening coordinator. A date for the Christening will be by mutual agreement between the vicar and the parents/carers.
HOW DOES A PERSON APPLY TO HAVE THEIR CHILD CHRISTENED?
In the first instance, parents/carers contact the Christening coordinator to arrange a provisional Christening date. The Christening coordinator will agree a provisional date, usually a minimum of three months after the initial enquiry. This will give sufficient time to prepare the candidate or candidate’s parents/carers for the Christening.
Alternative provision will only be offered if there are particular pastoral reasons and with the prior agreement of the Vicar.
The Christening coordinator will email the parents/carers advising them of the provisional date for their child’s Christening and to arrange an opportunity for the Christening coordinator to meet with the family for Christening preparation. They will also attach the Christening pack* which includes the Christening application form. This should be completed and returned to the Christening coordinator no later than one month prior to the agreed provisional Christening date.
During the period prior to the Christening, parents are encouraged to introduce their child to the main worship service on Sunday (All Age worship is particularly appropriate for families unfamiliar with the church, and takes place on the first Sunday of each month). When attending the service, parents/carers should introduce themselves to the Vicar or Curate and to the Christening coordinator (if they are yet to meet).
CHRISTENING PREPARATION VISIT
The purpose of the Christening Preparation Visit is to ensure that parents/carers bringing their children to Christening are given some Christian instruction on Christening and the faith of the church. This will better place them to engage more fully with the service and the promises they are making on behalf of their child.
The preparation period will give parents/carers the opportunity to meet the Christening coordinator and build a relationship with other church members. This will give them a sense of being known and of ‘belonging’ to the Church.
Does a parent/carer have to engage in Christening preparation?
It is required by Church Law and it is part of the Parish Christenings Policy that parents/carers receive Christening preparation. Godparents are also encouraged to do so. This will enable them to participate more fully in their role as Godparent.
Parents/carers are encouraged to consider whether they would like the Christening to take place as part of the main Sunday service at 9.15am. This will enable the child and family to be welcomed into the St Robert’s church family.
St Robert’s church is fortunate to have quite a full congregation at most main services and therefore guests for a Christening at these services would be limited to a maximum of 20. If you wish to have more guests than this, or prefer the service to be at a later time, we will arrange a separate Christening service on a Sunday. This will usually take place at 1.30pm (or 11am on the third Sunday of the month), but the time is only by prior agreement of the Vicar. Members of the church community will be invited to the service to welcome you into the church family.
Christenings are a sacrament and as such there is no charge made for the service. To support the ministry and mission of the church, there will be a retiring collection at Christening services.
MAINTAINING CONNECTIONS FOLLOWING CHRISTENING
The Mothers’ Union at St Robert’s commit to sending a card on the anniversary of the Christening for the first four years. The family will also be invited to a special annual “Church Family Service” to celebrate all those who have been Christened in the previous year. The Christening application also requests your permission for St Roberts’ to keep your contact details in order to send regular information about the activities of the church and to offer targeted invitations to particular services or events of interest. Families can opt out of receiving this information at any time.
Members of the Christening Team are required to have DBS clearance. This is arranged through the Parish Safeguarding Officer and Diocesan Safeguarding Advisor.
John Smith November 13th, 2018.
Signed by the Incumbent Date
For and on behalf of the PCC of St Robert of Knaresborough, Pannal
The individual forms and leaflets can be downloaded.