Q. What's the difference between a baptism and a christening?
A. None, they are just different words for the same thing.
Q. Can we have a private service of baptism?
A. Baptisms usually take place in the church's main service, because they are a public declaration that your child has become part of the church family. It is important that the church congregation is there to support you and welcome your child. However, if personal circumstances make this difficult, talk your parish priest.
Q. What is the right age for baptism?
A. Baptism can happen at any age. What matters is that those concerned are committed to bring up a child as a Christian.
Teenagers and adults may also be baptized. This is celebrated with confirmation by the Bishop. You can only be baptised once, but there are ways of renewing your Christian commitment publicly as an adult - your priest will be able to advise you.
Q. I'm not a regular churchgoer. Can I still have my child baptized?
A. Yes. The Church believes that God's love is available to all, regardless of their background. Your parish priest can talk you through the options: you might prefer to have a Thanksgiving service first and then consider baptism when you have had time to talk through what is being asked of you.
You may also wish to find out more about the Christian faith and what joining the Church involves before you make a decision about baptism. Again, your parish priest can give you guidance.
Q. What does it cost?
A. A Baptism service is free, though there may be a small charge for a certificate. Ask your parish priest.