We warmly welcome anyone interested in booking a baptism (also known as "christening") at All Saints church. We also welcome those who choose not to have a baptism ("christening") but who are interested in having a "Thanksgiving for the Gift of a Child" service.
PLEASE NOTE - Baptism services are shared so when you book there is likely to be another separate family present having their own children baptised (or adults being baptised) at the same service . We do not normally do individual christenings at All Saints. However, the service is very personal still, lasting about 25-30 minutes, and informal in nature. The actual "baptism" part of the service still happens with the parents and godparents/sponsors and close family standing by the font and the other family away from the font area.
We have shared baptisms simply because we have a lot of demand for baptisms and because we rely on volunteers to help with the services, as there is no charge for baptisms (and we are not allowed to set a charge or receive a fee even if offered - though there is a collection at the service for donations).
WHEN DO THEY HAPPEN?
Usually on the first Sunday afternoon of each month - so for 2022 that would be 2nd January, 6th February, 6th March, 3rd April, 1st May although actually for reasons outside our control it will be 8th May this month, 12th June (not 5th June because of Platinum Jubilee celebrations on 5th June) , 3rd July, 7th August, 4th September, 2nd October, 6th November and 4th December.
We book up 3pm first, then offer 3.45pm, and then when that is full we offer 4.30pm. Not all Sundays are available so this will be discussed with you when you book the service.
Baptisms / christenings are free of charge though a plate is put at the back of church for donations as you leave at the end. This is in cash form only.
Please read on to find out about both and then please fill out the contact form below if you are interested in booking a baptism or thanksgiving service.
These are now removed though face masks are currently compulsory unless exempt except for children.
BOOKING BAPTISMS (also known as "Christening")
If you want to go ahead and book a Baptism service (also known as "Christening") please fill out the contact form below.
Please bear in mind that if you do not get an immediate reply it may be that the Vicar is on holiday. He will reply on his return from holiday.
DO YOU LIVE OUTSIDE THE PARISH OF WHITSTABLE?
If you live or have lived in the past in the parish of Whitstable, it is fine for you or your child to be baptised (christened) here.
If you live elsewhere but have a past connection with Whitstable please can you contact your local vicar first before contacting us, just to check he or she is happy that you come to us for the service. We do not expect you to bring a letter from the vicar of your home parish, this is entirely on trust.
Before you come to book your baptism, have a think about who you would like to be godparents for your child. The average number of godparents is three per child, though there is no set maximum. Each godparent should be 18 years old or more. If the child is old enough to speak for themselves on matters of faith (usually from about 6 years up) or if it is an adult being baptised they have "sponsors" not godparents, though you can still call them godparents if you wish. Someone over the age of about 6 years is in the Vicar's opinion considered old enough to answer the baptism promises for themselves, so they do not need to have a godparent answering the questions for them. Pastorally though, as we say, sponsors can still play an important role, so it is ok to refer to them as godparents. We will explain more when you contact us.
THANKSGIVING FOR THE GIFT OF A CHILD OR BAPTISM?
If you feel a bit uneasy making the promises of Baptism and would rather have a Thanksgiving for your child rather than a Baptism that is fine. The Vicar is much more keen that you do what feels right for you than feel under pressure in any way to do what is traditionally the norm.
So why not think about the "Thanksgiving for the Gift of a Child"service?
The vicar will discuss this with you and explain the difference. There are no godparents with a Service of Thanksgviving. Instead there are sponsors.