Our booking hour is temporarily suspended. Please ring the rector, The Revd Kimberly Bohan, on 01472 822172 if you would like to make arrangements for a baptism.
Currently, small gatherings are possible for a Christening, though subject to a number of restrictions. We expect that social distancing requirements and other safety requirements may be in place for some time, and we will continue to work with families to plan the best and safest celebration that we can given the circumstances.
What follows below was the ‘pre-covid’ information, much of which still applies.
To arrange for a Christening, come along to our booking hour at All Saints, Waltham every Monday (except bank holidays) between 6 – 7 pm.
We can also take enquiries online — follow this link to give us your contact details and to request a date, then either come along on a Monday evening, or call us to arrange a time to meet (01472 822 172).
Different types of services
There are lots of different styles of baptism service — sometimes a baptism is small and intimate. Sometimes it’s a great celebration. Here are some possibilities to consider:
Most of our baptisms take place on a Sunday afternoon. We hold baptisms most Sundays in Waltham, at least once a month in New Waltham, and in the smaller villages by arrangement.
Covid-19 update: While social distancing regulations are in place, it is unlikely that we will be able to do a baptism in the Sunday morning service unless you are a regular member of the congregation, and there would be few extra guests.
We also do baptisms at the 10 am Eucharist at Waltham four times a year. These services always feel like a big celebration — the choir will sing, the whole church will welcome you, and there will be cake and coffee afterwards. Sometimes, children who are baptised at the 10 am service are admitted to communion on the same day. If you would like to learn more about this, just let us know when you book the baptism. The 10 am services of Baptism and Admission to Communion usually happen at the start of September, on All Saints Sunday (early November), in February, and in May.
We can also do baptisms in the main service at New Waltham.
If you are getting baptised as a teenager or adult, you might want to wait for the Easter Vigil at Waltham. It’s one of the oldest customs of the church to baptise at Easter. The Vigil begins outside, where we light a fire, and then carry the light into a dark church. Then once the Easter song is sung, all the bells ring and the lights go on while the choir sings, we hear the story of Jesus’ resurrection, and then we get ready for baptism. After the baptism, we share in communion and then the champagne corks fly. There is no more exciting time to get baptised. Children may also be baptised at Ravendale on Easter afternoon, before the egg hunt.
Sometimes a child asks to be baptised — either because they’ve begun to be curious about God, or because they realise that they want to share in something that their friends or siblings have done. We’ve found that one way to make baptism feel really special for a school-aged child is to do it at their birthday. This is especially popular at our church in East Ravendale where we have a church school. If you’d like a birthday baptism, please get in touch well in advance to save the date.
Did you know…?
The words ‘baptism’ and ‘Christening’ mean the same thing. ‘Baptism’ comes from the act of cleansing with water — and Jesus’ own baptism in the river Jordon. ‘Christening’ comes from the idea that through baptism we are made one with Christ — ‘Christ -ened’ — and part of Christ’s body for ever.