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 seprate 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.
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?
As the church is currently being used for Sunday worship services during the pandemic, Baptisms or Christenings (the word means the same thing) take place at the moment on Saturday afternoons. Please discuss when you book what dates are available for this year.
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.
Baptisms are not allowed to take place at the moment before 17th May 2021. After that up to 30 guests can be present. If all goes well, more guests than 30 should be allowed after 21st June 2021 though we are awaiting government guidance on this. Facemasks are compulsory in church up to 21st June and social distancing between family groups and bubbles is also required. This again may be relaxed after 21st June and we will confirm this in due course.
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.
There is no charge for a baptism service but there will be a collection at the service.
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.