Aroskin Christening August 2023
Christenings and Confirmation in the Woodford Valley for Children and Adults
Having a child Christened in the Woodford Valley
Christenings, humanly speaking, mark a celebration and naming of a child. For the church christening, also called (and identical to) Baptism, mark the first step on the journey of faith. Promises are made on behalf of the child, to turn away from the wrong things of the world and to follow Jesus as our Saviour and Lord. It is as if we are giving the child a present that they can unwrap and commit to later. Until then at a Christening we commit to helping them grow in their understanding of faith through our words and our deeds, guiding them in the way of faith.
Who can have their child Christened in the Valley?
We welcome anyone to come and have their child christened in the Valley. If you live outside our parish (which includes the Archers and Kings Gate estates - see this map for full details) we will ask you to get in contact with your local church too. Formally this is to ask their permission but primarily it is to ensure you get details of the church children’s activities (from toddler groups to youth groups) that are available local to you. There is no charge for baptism.
Having older children Christened
It is important that a Christening is a positive experience for children. For toddlers we often ask for them to come in a swimming costume and we will sit them in the font full of warm water. (There are other ways of engaging children who don’t like baths!). Should a child in this age group decide on the day that they really don’t want to be christened our approach is not to force them but rather to carry on with the general celebrations, marking the day as one where the child was dedicated to God. We will then, if you wish, arrange for another private time to baptise the child.
Children from around 5-10 will increasingly need more preparation themselves to understand the meaning of baptism. Mike, the Vicar, will want to work with you with this. For ages above this it will be appropriate to prepare the children in more detail and as they progress in age it may be appropriate to consider preparing for a service of Baptism and Confirmation, conducted by the Bishop in the Cathedral.
Being Baptised and Confirmed as an Adult
A Christening is like a wrapped gift we give to a child. When they wish to fully commit themselves to the Christian faith they can have another initiation service called Confirmation.
Anyone of any age can be confirmed (being Baptised first if they were not previously Christened). Confirmation is conducted by a Bishop who prays for the Spirit of God to be with the person. Usually this is at the Cathedral, although here every year we hold an open air Confirmation Service for those of our school’s Year 6 who wish to be confirmed and a Bishop will come to the house or care home of any who are to infirm to come to a church building. The confirmation services held at Salisbury Cathedral are quite wonderful (even more inspiring than the Darkness into Light services).
If you would like to make this step of faith do contact Mike, the Vicar, to find out more. In a relaxed atmosphere he will guide you in exploring the Christian faith.