Infant Baptisms (Christenings) usually take place on the second and fourth Sunday of the month at 2pm.
The baptism service is informal lasting about 30 minutes. The parents and godparents will make special promises to do all they can to care for and guide their child.
Baptism means that your child will become a Christian – a member of Christ’s family. Baptism is the first step in their journey of faith.
During the service we use the three symbols of baptism: oil, water and light. Olive oil will be used to make a cross on the child’s forehead, water is used as a sign that we are washed clean ready for new life, and a lighted candle will be presented to the child to remind us that the light of Christ has entered their life.
We are happy to baptise children whose parents live in the Bicester Team Ministry Area which covers Bicester, Caversfield, Bucknell and Launton. If you’d like to arrange a baptism, come along one Sunday morning and speak to the Vicar at the end of the service or telephone Revd Robert Jackson on 01869 357151 during the absence of the Revd Becky Mathew who is on maternity leave. We make no charge for a baptism service but appreciate donations.
Godparents: A Special Friendship
You choose up to 4 godparents for your child. They each need to have been baptised themselves. They may be friends or relatives but it is important that they will consider the role of godparent an honour and a privilege.
A godparent is a friend, mentor and role model to their godchild.
The godparents’ part in the service is an important one. They speak for the child and promise to be the best person they can be for that child.
The church understands that godparents will nurture the seed of faith sown in the child at baptism; that they will act as support and encouragement in the years to come and finally, with the parents bring the child to a point in their life where they want to make for themselves, the promises that were made on their behalf as a baby. We call the next step Confirmation.
ADULT BAPTISM AND CONFIRMATION
Adults are usually baptised and confirmed by the Bishop at the same time.
Please contact the Revd Robert Jackson if you are interested in being confirmed having been baptised as a child, or if you would like to be baptised and confirmed as an adult.
THANKSGIVING FOR THE BIRTH OF A CHILD
What is a Thanksgiving Service?
Until a generation ago, most children in Britain were baptised as infants, often very unthinkingly. It was something to be “done”. Today, many fewer children are baptised. Partly this reflects the migration of people of other faiths to Britain, but also it represents a welcome trend not to treat baptism unthinkingly. So, in the generally more secular society of today, parents who want a religious “rite of passage” for their child are treating the subject with greater seriousness. However, the promises and affirmations they are required to make in a Baptism service are solemn and powerful.
Some people therefore decide that a Thanksgiving Service is more appropriate than a Baptism. Some parents prefer not to make the public vows of Christian commitment which are a part of the Baptism service. A Baptism is a signal that they wish to join the church, and they may not be ready for that yet. Some parents believe that the child should decide for themselves, when they are older, whether or not they would like to be baptised. Whatever the reason, baptism may not feel right at this time, but they still want to celebrate God’s gift of a child, and say thank-you publicly and joyfully.
So what’s it about?
The Thanksgiving Service offers this opportunity to publicly celebrate the birth of a child. This service allow parents and families to express their delight and gratitude to God for the new being they are welcoming into their homes, to pray for the child and to ask others to pray for them. This is not Baptism, which is the sacrament by which we are welcomed into membership of the church. It is quite simply a celebration of a new life within a family, a thank-you for a small person given by God to be loved, nurtured and enjoyed. The minister taking the service will bless the child and pray for the family, but the parents are not required to make any promises.
Thanksgiving or Baptism?
If you choose to have a Thanksgiving, you may also have a Baptism service for your child at a later date.
What does it cost?
How do I arrange it and how can I find out more?
Simply contact Revd Jackson or another of the Team clergy or Lay ministers mentioned on this site.