This policy follows the Canons of the Church of England
Child or Infant Baptism
1. Any parent residing in the parish can request baptism or “christening” for their child at any of our churches.
2. Baptisms should normally take place during the main act of worship on a given Sunday (Canon B21). This is usually on the second Sunday in the month at Brampton, and on the fourth Sunday of every other month in Ellington and Grafham.
Baptism in a separate service (or Private Baptism) is not possible.
3. If parents live outside the parish, the baptism can go ahead if they fulfil one or more of the following criteria:
a) They were married at one of our churches;
b) They worship regularly at one of our churches for at least six months before the
c) Their own parents (i.e., the grandparents of the child to be baptised) are regular
worshippers at one of our churches.
4. If the family lives outside the parish, but has some other connection with the parish
they may be eligible, but this must be referred to the Rector for a decision, and only in very unusual circumstances would permission be granted.
5. A family asking for baptism who live outside the parish and have qualified under the criteria set down above must inform the minister of their own parish, and should only proceed with her or his goodwill (Canon B23.5).
6. If the family has been attending church for fewer than six months but have shown
themselves to be sincere and committed members of the congregation (for example,
they have added their names to the electoral roll) then, again, a decision to baptize
would be made at the Rector’s discretion.
7. Baptism preparation includes a visit from the Rector, or their representative, to the family’s home, explaining the service and the commitment it entails. The Baptism cannot take place without this preparation. A date for Baptism will not be confirmed until this meeting takes place.
8. Candidates for baptism should have a minimum of three Godparents of whom at least two shall be of the same sex as the child and of whom at least one shall be of the opposite sex. (Canon B.23.1)
9. Godparents must themselves be baptised and, ideally, confirmed. (Canon B.23.4)
10. A Godparent can be baptised at the same service at which they act as Godparent for another candidate for baptism in line with the requirements for Adult Baptism, set out below.
11. The name of a Godparent can still be entered in the Baptism register if for good
reason they cannot attend the service.
12. A Godparent can, if desired, be represented by a “proxy” at the service if they are
unable to attend.
13. If an unbaptised person is not willing to be baptised before or at the service at which they wish to be a Godparent, they cannot be a Godparent or be entered into the register as such.
Adult Baptism (or older children able to decide/speak for themselves)
14. Adult candidates for baptism should normally receive preparation arranged with or through the Rector.
15. All adult candidates for baptism should be reminded of the requirement to consider Confirmation as well as baptism (Canons B23 and B24).
16. Adult candidates must have at least two “sponsors” who reply as a parent or godparent in the baptism service (Canon B.23.3). The term “sponsor” describes a supporting person for an adult candidate for baptism and confirmation and should not be used in conjunction with a child candidate.
17. The same rules (7-11) that apply to Godparents apply to sponsors.
This policy is reviewed and updated annually by the PCC.
Signed: ................................................................. (Rector)
Signed: ................................................................. (Church Warden)