St Mary’s Church, Hemel Hempstead Baptisms
At St. Mary’s Church, we welcome for Baptism, or Christening as it is also known, children, young people and adults – there is no age restriction for this first and very important step to enter the Christian Church! These are very happy occasions when families gather to celebrate and welcome the arrival of a new member of the family! It is also a happy occasion for us as we welcome a new member to be part of the wider church family who meet at St Mary’s.
Whom can we Baptise at St Mary’s?
- Children from families/adults who live in our part of the ‘Parish of St Mary and St Paul’ - those, living in Highfield area will most likely be directed to St Paul’s unless there is a special connection to St Mary’s.
- Children/adults who have other family members who attend St Mary’s, or who have a connection with ‘Acorns’ Junior Church, or Toddler Church.
- Occasionally, we are able to baptise others who have a strong pastoral reason for asking for this service to be conducted here. The Vicar will be able to advise you whether or not this is possible.
When do services take place?
- At 9.30am during the main service on Sunday. This is still considered as the best time as the people who usually worship in the church are there to welcome the child and family/adult as new Christians and a new member of our church family!
Our main service is usually ‘Sung Eucharist’ which includes Holy Communion. This service usually lasts about 1hr 15 mins, However, at the first Sunday in the month our service is ‘All Age Family Eucharist’. This service is still a Communion Service but is often a little shorter and is designed to be more accessible for families with younger children! Our ‘Acorns’ Junior Church are usually present in church for the whole of this service.
- At 11.30am we can put on a more simple service of Baptism. This service lasts about 30 mins and some families find the later start easier when their wider family is travelling some distance to attend. In this case, the child with their family or person being baptised, will also need to return the following week to the Sung Eucharist at 9.30am for their child/adult to be welcomed into the family of the Church of which he/she has become a member.
How many children/people may be baptised at a service?
- Frequently there is only one child/family being baptised at any one service but even with the 11.30am service it is not a ‘private service’ and other families may also bring children to be baptised at the same time.
How do we prepare for Baptism?
A simple process of preparation takes place in which the parents (and sometimes Godparents where possible) first meet with the Vicar. At some time before the Baptism, a Baptismal Visitor from the Parish will also call to see you to talk about any other questions you may have and so that there will be a familiar and friendly face in Church when you come to the service! Both of these meetings provide an important opportunity to talk over the service and especially the promises which parents and Godparents make on behalf of the child.
Arranging a Baptism
ALL bookings for baptisms will take place at the First Sunday Services Welcome Desk at the 9.30am at St Mary’s and 11.15am at St Paul’s. Anyone booking a baptism will have to attend one of the family friendly services at either church on the first Sunday of each month to book. They can attend St Paul’s to be baptised at St Mary’s or vice versa. The diaries and booking forms will be available at each venue. Following the baptism they will be invited back to one of these services to be welcomed.
Bookings will NOT happen at any other services or through the office.