Baptism of Christ from the East window of St Mary's Church
Baptism is a public commitment to follow Jesus Christ. When a young child is baptised, or christened, the parents and godparents make this commitment on their behalf. Older children and adults make the commitment for themselves.
Whenever it happens, whether as a baby, child or adult, baptism is at the heart of an amazing journey of faith as a follower of Jesus Christ.
In the case of a young child, over the years to come, it’s a journey you’ll share together with your child by:
Being there for your child to talk to about the bigger questions of life – questions about hope, faith and love.
Praying for your child through the ups and downs of their faith journey.
Showing them practically how to make those good choices in life.
Helping them to learn more about their Christian faith, through their church and in other ways.
So, baptism is a commitment to start as you mean to go on.
Your Child's Baptism
We are delighted that you are considering having your child baptised. Your child’s baptism is a very important occasion both for the Church and for your family.
Baptisms at St Mary’s take place either within the main service at 10.30 a.m. or at a special baptism service at 12.15pm.
We hope that it will be a happy and memorable time for all concerned and, like everything else important in life, your child’s baptism will require planning and preparation.
Your first step is to contact the baptism team on email@example.com or visit or telephone the Parish Office, to let us know that you are considering a baptism.
We will take your contact details and arrange for one of the baptism team to meet with you. They will explain what our church offers for children and young people and also let you know the next steps in the process of preparing for the baptism.
This will include attending a Family Service (usually held on the fourth Sunday of each month at 10.30 a.m.) and also a preparation meeting with one of the clergy team.
Questions that are often asked
Who can be a godparent?
You should have at least two Godparents: one of each gender. Traditionally, there are two Godparents of the same gender as the child and one of the opposite gender. Godparents can be family members or friends. However, it is important that you choose people who will take an interest in your child's spiritual welfare and who will pray for you and your child. They should be baptised themselves and mature enough to act as a Godparent.
What happens if one of the godparents can’t come to the Baptism?
Of course, they will make every effort to come if they possibly can. But sometimes this is impossible. This doesn’t stop them from being a godparent.
We’re not married – can our child still be baptised?
Yes - not a problem. But if you would like to discuss the possibility of getting married, the Rector would be delighted to discuss this with you.
Can older children or adults be baptised?
Yes - again not a problem. If you are considering this, please have a word with a one of our clergy.
We don’t live in Saffron Walden – can we have our baby baptised here?
It’s usual to have your baby baptised in the parish where you live so that your child can be welcomed and grow in your local church family. However, if there are particular reasons why you would like to have the baptism at St. Mary’s (e.g. family links), it may be possible to arrange with the agreement of your own local minister.
What does it cost?
Baptism is a symbol of God’s love for us which is freely given. We make no charge.
Directions to St Mary's Church and Parking
Please note that there is no parking on the church site apart from two spaces for guests with limited mobility. Details of how to find us and where you can park can be found here. However, parking is much easier in Saffron Walden on Sundays.
Baptisms in the Village Churches
If you live in Littlebury, Littlebury Green, Wendens Ambo, Little Walden, Sewards End, Ashdon or Hadstock your baby can be baptised in your village church. We have the same procedures for booking your baptism and you should email our Baptism Team at firstname.lastname@example.org or call St Mary's Parish Office in Saffron Walden or talk to your local minister in the first instance.
What sites do you recommend to learn more about baptisms?
The Church of England’s dedicated Christenings Site
For further information please email the Baptism Team at St Mary's Saffron Walden (email@example.com) preferably using this enquiry form, or phone the Parish Office at St Mary's 01799 506 024 - full details on our Who's Who and Contact Page.
People were bringing little children to him in order that he might touch them; and the disciples spoke sternly to them. But when Jesus saw this, he was indignant and said to them, ‘Let the little children come to me; do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs. Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will never enter it.’ And he took them up in his arms, laid his hands on them, and blessed them. Mark 10:13-16
God our creator,
we thank you for the gift of our child
entrusted to our care.
May we be patient and understanding,
ready to guide and to forgive,
so that through our love
they may come to know your love;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
May God, who has received you by baptism into his Church, pour upon you the riches of his grace, that within the company of Christ’s pilgrim people you may daily be renewed by his anointing Spirit, and come to the inheritance of the saints in glory. Amen.