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St Michaelís Church Hall

and meeting rooms

please telephone 

01494 676931

Subject to availability the church hall can be used after the baptism..Maximum seated capacity is 60.

Click here for photos of the hall


















































































































































Welcome to


(Church of England)

St Michael's Green, Warwick Road, Beaconsfield, Bucks HP9 2BN



























†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† BAPTISM continued


3. Godparents and Sponsors
The role of Godparents is often confused with the legal role of guardians, but the two roles are entirely separate.

The role of Godparents is to speak on behalf of the infant being baptised during the baptism service itself and to support the parents in bringing the child up as a Christian within the family of the Church, so that they will confess the faith for themselves and come in due time to confirmation.

In order that they can fulfil their role Godparents need be able to make the declarations and promises in the baptism services, which is why the Church of England requires all Godparents to be baptised themselves and normally to be confirmed as well. That is also why it is not possible for a member of another faith to be a Godparent.

Those who are baptised as infants normally have to have at least three Godparents. At least two of them have to be of the same sex as the infant and one has to be of the opposite sex. If it proves impossible for there to be three Godparents it is possible for a baptism to take place with one Godfather and one Godmother. Parents can be Godparents to their own children providing there is at least one other Godparent as well.

Those who are older when they are baptised have sponsors rather than Godparents. The role of the sponsor is not to speak for the person being baptised, but to formally present them for baptism and to help them in their growth as Christians after they have been baptised. There need to be at least two and preferably three sponsors and they are chosen by the candidates for baptism themselves. Like Godparents they need to be baptised and normally also confirmed.

A helpful leaflet about becoming a godparent is available to buy from Church House Publishing.

4. When and where baptisms take place
In an emergency, such as when a new born infant is very seriously ill, it is possible for people to be baptised anywhere. However, baptisms usually take place in a parish church or a cathedral during the main Sunday service. The reason for this is because, as has already been said, baptism means becoming part of God's family and so it is appropriate that it takes place when the other members of the family are gathered together for public worship both so that they can support those who are being baptised and also so that they can be reminded of the continuing significance of their own baptism.

People are normally baptised in their own parish church (or in a cathedral if they are part of the cathedral congregation). It is possible for people to be baptised in a church in another parish if there is a good reason for this, but this can only happen if the goodwill of their own parish priest has been sought. In this case the welcoming by the Church provided for in the Common Worship service may take place subsequently in their own parish church since this represents their local Christian family.

5. Preparation for baptism
Except in an emergency, at least a week's notice has to be given before a baptism can take place. However, the minister conducting the baptism will almost certainly delay the baptism longer than this. This may partly be in order to fit the baptism into the wider pattern of services in the church or cathedral involved. More importantly, however such a delay will allow time for the minister to ensure that those being baptised, or their parents in the case of infants, receive adequate preparation.

The purpose of this preparation is to enable those involved to understand what baptism means and the solemn Christian commitment that it entails. The form that this preparation involves will vary depending on the practice of the church or cathedral concerned and the particular circumstances of those being baptised.

6. A service of thanksgiving
Many people seek baptism for their children because they want to give thanks to God for their child's arrival into the world. From a Christian perspective, it is right that they should want to do this, but, as can be seen from what has been said about baptism here, this is not what the baptism service is for.

However, the Church of England provides a service of Thanksgiving for the Gift of a Child. As its title indicates, this service is about giving thanks for the miracle of new life, and it is not an alternative to baptism since it is not part of the process of Christian initiation. If a service of thanksgiving is held, baptism may then follow at a later date.

As the notes accompanying the service in Common Worship explain, the service is provided for a number of different occasions:

   the private celebration of a birth or adoption, at home or in church with family and close friends present

   the public celebration of the birth or adoption of a number of children, perhaps in church on a Sunday afternoon;

   the public celebration of the birth or adoption of a number of children as part of a main Sunday act of worship.

The service is designed to meet the needs of: †††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††


        parents who see this service as a preliminary to baptism;

        parents who do not wish their children to be baptised immediately;

        others, who do not ask for baptism, but who recognise that something has happened for which they want to give thanks to God.


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