COVID-19: It’s all a bit different, but the church is alive!


Christenings at St John’s

Congratulations! If you are expecting a child or have recently given birth, we are so excited and pleased for you. Every new life is a gift from God. We would love to help you thank God for your child, and launch your child on a journey of faith that will last a lifetime.

There are two types of service we can offer.

Thanksgiving for the Gift of a Child

If you want to give thanks to God for the gift of new life, we’d love to help you. We offer a service of thanksgiving for children. The service is built around your child, and it focuses on thanking God for this new life and entrusting them to his care. You can help us shape the service for you and your family (for example, by choosing songs or readings) and you’re welcome to invite as many guests as you like. A service of thanksgiving for a child doesn’t prevent a child being baptised at a later date (see below for information about baptisms).

We welcome anyone living in the parish of St John’s or with a connection to St John’s to celebrate the gift of a new child with us (please click to check the criteria for our parish).

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Baptism (sometimes called Christening)

If you intend to bring up your child in the local church, you may want to explore baptism with us (please click to check the criteria for our parish).

In the baptism service, parents and godparents declare their dependence on Jesus as their saviour and Lord, and their commitment to putting Jesus at the centre of their lives. They promise to help the child to begin their own journey of faith and to grow up in the church family to become a follower of Jesus for themselves. We think it’s important that baptized children attend church regularly, so we like to spend time with baptism families, helping them to find their place in the St John’s church family. We love supporting parents and godparents as they raise their children, and helping children to come to know Jesus for themselves.

Baptism preparation

We invite everyone exploring baptism to be our guest on a short course exploring the basics of the Christian faith and what it means to bring a child up in it. Using material from the well-know Alpha course, we explore four key questions asked of the parents and godparents in the baptism service:

  • Will you support your child in their journey of faith?
  • Do you turn to Jesus Christ?
  • Do you turn away from sin?
  • Do you trust in Jesus Christ as Lord?

We provide food, a relaxed atmosphere and plenty of time to discuss what faith means to you. You can find out more about Alpha and watch the stories of some people who have done the course here.

This is what some people who have completed our baptism course said:

“A really useful and powerful opportunity to reflect on what baptism for my child means to me and my husband. A lovely invitation to the local Christian Community.” – Louisa

“Very useful and thought provoking. I found the course to be a very positive experience.” – Mark

“I have really enjoyed the last two weeks. Everyone has been so welcoming and been so kind.” – Jen

“It has provided me with the time I would never normally have to stop and think… It certainly provided good information about the promises we are making and also what we are committing to with our children through baptism.” – LB

“So welcoming and not pressured to do / say anything. Nice to listen and understand more about a baptism and even your own faith or raising your child” – Megan

Course details

We usually run our baptism preparation course over two Saturday mornings which includes breakfast. An alternative would be an Alpha course over four Wednesday evenings which includes dinner. See Baptism Sample course timetables.

The next baptism preparation course was scheduled for two Saturday mornings in June 2020. These have been postponed because of the Covid-19 restrictions on gatherings. New dates will be announced when restrictions are eased.

If you enjoy the baptism course you are very welcome to continue as our guest on a full Alpha course (8 sessions) exploring more of life’s big questions.

There is no charge for any of our courses.

Towards the end of the course you will be able to book a date for the baptism of your child, which will take place during one of our regular services on a Sunday morning at 9.15am or 10.45am. If you choose to have a baptism service at the 10.45am service this will normally be on a first Sunday in the month, when we have a service suitable for all ages.

If you regularly attend St John’s church or another Christian church (by which we mean that you attend a service at least twice a month), you may already be confident that baptism is right for you and your child. If that’s the case you can talk to our Vicar, Gavin, and agree with him the best way to prepare for the baptism.

To find out more, contact us on

We look forward to celebrating with you!