Diocese of Chichester

A christening is the first step of an amazing journey with God, parents, godparents, friends, family and the church.

A lifetime of discovering more about love, faith and hope begins - a wonderful moment to celebrate.

What is a Christening?

During a christening your child will be baptized with water. It’s the start of an amazing journey of faith for your child and a special day for all your friends and family.

There are several special moments in the service:

  • The vicar will pray for your child and for all those who will support them in their path of faith
  • You and the godparents will make some important promises for your child in the service. You can see these words online at churchofenglandchristenings.org/service
  • A special oil may be used to make the sign of the cross on your child's forehead. It is a significant moment which marks your child as belonging to God
  • Water, which is blessed in the church's font, will be poured over your child's head by the vicar. This is your child's baptism
  • Everyone promises to continue supporting your child from this moment
  • a candle will be given to you in the service when the vicar says: "Shine as a light in the world to the glory of God"

The Role of Godparents

In the service, the godparents make promises to share the amazing journey of the Christian faith, to pray for your child and to show them ways to grow in faith and love.

Because of the very special role they have in supporting your child's faith journey, godparents must be christened themselves.

Getting Ready for the Service

The vicar of your church will invite you to come to church, or even meet with others to talk about the christening and what it means for the whole family.

The Day of the Christening

Whatever day or time you arrange to have the christening, it will be a very special day!

If it takes place in a Sunday service, your child's church family will be present, joining you and your guests in prayer and support for the amazing journey ahead.

After the Service

Your family are warmly invited to come to church  whenever you can. Your church may also keep in touch in other ways. Even if you move, there will be a Church of England church local to you in your new parish, so we are always there for you, wherever you are.

Visit churchofenglandchristenings.org for more information.