Arranging a Baptism at St Nicholas’ or St Mary’s, Halewood

 

HOW DO WE ARRANGE A BAPTISM? 

Our usual time to meet those who want to arrange a Baptism is between 7:00 and 7:45 PM
on Thursday evenings at the St Nicholas’ Centre (70 Church Road, next door to the
Church). You don’t need to make an appointment, just call in.  You will meet a member of
the clergy team and church wardens who will explain about baptism and invite you to a
baptism preparation evening.  Please note that on some occasions, e.g. during school
holidays and around Christmas or Easter, we may not be open. Please ring the Parish
Office if you would like to check.

WHO CAN BE BAPTISED AT ST NICHOLAS OR ST MARY’S? 

Anyone who lives in the parish of Halewood can be Baptised, or bring a child to be
Baptised, at St Nicholas’ or St Mary’s. 
If you don’t live in the parish of Halewood, but you particularly want to arrange a
Baptism here —because you have a genuine connection with one of our churches —it may
still be possible. Before such a Baptism can go ahead we ask you to make contact with the
Church in the parish where you live and to seek the goodwill of the Minister there. 
Normally he or she will write to us to indicate that there is no objection to the Baptism
taking place in Halewood. 
If you are not sure which parish you live in, please ask—we can usually help! (You can also
find out online: www.achurchnearyou.com) 

WHEN WILL THE SERVICE BE? 

Baptisms normally happen on certain Sundays in the month and the service is usually at
10:30AM at St Mary’s or 12:45 PM at St Nicholas’. 
When you book the Baptism service you will be offered a choice of dates. We will do our
best to find one to suit you, but please bear in mind that some dates get fully booked well
in advance, and certain dates are not available for other reasons. (For example, we do not
usually have Baptism services in August because of holidays, nor in December because of
the extra services in the period leading up to Christmas.) 
Please don’t make any other arrangements (e.g. booking a venue for a party) until we
have agreed a date and time.

HOW MUCH DOES IT COST? 

You will be pleased to know that there is no charge for a Baptism service! We will also
provide a Baptism certificate and cards for Godparents at no cost to you. 
During the service, a collection will be taken and you will be able to make a donation then, 
if you wish. The collection helps with the church’s running costs. 
If you want to know more about supporting the Church on a regular basis, or making a
donation, please ask. If you are a tax-payer, please consider making your donation a Gift
Aid payment, allowing us to reclaim the tax you have already paid on your gift. 

WHAT ABOUT THE SERVICE? 

We use a contemporary form of service and we can let you have a copy to look at
beforehand if you wish. 
If you have a particular hymn that you would like to sing, or a prayer or Bible reading that
you would like included, please let us know. The Minister taking the service is responsible
for making the final choices, but we welcome suggestions. 

Godparents 

When you book the Baptism, you will be asked to give details of the people you would like
to act as Godparents. If you don’t have this information at the time, it will be possible to
for you to let us know later. 
Church law requires Godparents to be Baptized and Confirmed. It doesn’t matter in which
Christian Church they were Baptised or Confirmed. If it is not possible for you to find
Godparents who have been Confirmed, then this requirement may be relaxed. Someone
who has not been Baptised, however, cannot be a Godparent. 
Traditionally, children have three Godparents—two of the same sex as the child, and one of
the opposite sex. If you cannot find three Godparents, then one of each sex will be
sufficient. It is possible to have more, if you wish. 
Godparents share responsibility with the parents to see that the child is given a Christian
upbringing within the family of the Church. At the service, they will be asked: 

Minister: Will you pray for them, draw them by your example into the community of
faith and walk with them in the way of Christ? 
And must be able to reply: 
With the help of God, we will.

Minister: In baptism these children begin their journey in faith. You speak
for them today. Will you care for them, and help them to take their place
within the life and worship of Christ’s Church? 
With the help of God, we will. 

Since Godparents promise to help the child to become a regular worshipper, it makes more
sense if they are themselves regular worshippers. 

How many Guests can we invite? 

Some people invite just the immediate family and Godparents to the service, while others
throw a big party for everyone they know! Please bear in mind that St Nicholas’ holds
around 225 people. At Baptism services, we often have four families taking part, so if each
family comes with 50-60 guests, the place will be full. St Mary’s is a smaller building, but
we usually have just one family at a time. We love seeing lots of people in Church, but
please be aware that if you invite too many guests, we cannot guarantee that they will all
get a seat! 

On The Day 

We ask parents and Godparents to be in their places at least 15 minutes before the
service is due to start. In fact, we like all guests to arrive in good time so that we can start
promptly. (Please remember that if you arrive late, it is not just your own family and
friends that will be inconvenienced.) 
Those who are to be Baptised, and their parents and Godparents, will be seated at the
front of one of the sections of the Church. We try to make sure that all of your guests are
seated together in one area of the Church. 
We can make arrangements for guests in wheelchairs to be seated with the rest of their
party: please let us know if anyone requires. 

Car Parking 

Both churches have car parks. At St Nicholas’ parking is an issue, and the 12:45 PM
Baptism services are a particular problem as the congregation from the 11:00 AM service
may not have left by the time you arrive. Please let your guests know what the options are, 
and suggest that they leave enough time to find a space elsewhere and walk to Church, if
possible. If you are coming by car, please consider sharing. We ask all Church users to park
safely and considerately, and particularly ask that cars do not block the pavements or
access.

Children in Church 

We love having children in Church—that’s why we Baptise them! But we understand that
little ones can get restless and we don’t expect them to be still and quiet for the whole
service. Please feel free to get up and take them for a walk. At the back of St Nicholas’ 
church, there is a carpeted room with comfortable chairs. There are some toys and books
for little ones. You can still see what is happening in the service through the glass screen, 
and the sound is relayed through a speaker, so you won’t miss out too much. We don’t
have anyone on duty to run a crèche during Baptism services, so a responsible adult will
need to stay with them. (You might like to know that on Sunday mornings at St Nicholas’, 
we do provide a crèche, so that you are free to leave little ones while you stay in Church. 
Our crèche staff are all volunteers who are trained in Child Protection, and all have been
CRB/DBS checked. The same is true of all those who work with children and young people
on behalf of our Church.) 
If your child is upset during the service (it happens!), please don’t be embarrassed to
provide whatever he or she needs—food, drink, a changed nappy, or just a change of
scenery. We recommend that you make your way to the back, and promise that when we
need you to return to the service, someone will come and get you—we won’t forget about
you! 
If you have any other queries, please speak to one of the Wardens, Steward or Sponsors on
duty. 

Photographs and Video 

We ask the congregation not to take pictures or use video cameras during the service. 
They can be off-putting for other people and we think that everyone who attends the
service should take a full part in it: there are more important things than taking pictures. 
You may want to stay behind in Church for a while after the service has finished and take
photos then. 

Mobile Phones 

We ask that phones are switched off when you are in Church—for obvious reasons.

WHAT PREPARATION WILL WE HAVE?

Baptism Secretary 

The administration for Baptism services is done by our Baptism Secretaries. You will
meet them when you come to the baptism preparation evening.  At the end of the
baptism preparation evening you will be able to book the date of the baptism with
the Baptism Secretaries.

The Church Visit

Baptism is about becoming part of the family of the church, and we hope that you will
want to attend church regularly in the future if you have not already.  To help you
familiarise yourselves with the Church and to feel at home, we ask you to attend the
morning service at church on at least the Sundays two weeks before the date of the
Baptism (10:30AM at St Mary’s and 11:00AM at St Nicholas’). This also enables us
to meet you—something we enjoy doing! We like both parents to attend if at all
possible. Please invite the Godparents and the child’s grandparents or other members
of the family and friends. In fact, the more the merrier! At the end of the service,
please don’t rush off, but introduce yourself to a member of the Clergy or someone
who is on duty as Sidesperson, Steward or Warden (e.g. the people who are collecting
the hymnbooks).

Baptism Sponsors 

Each child who is Baptised at St Nicholas’ or St Mary’s has a Baptism Sponsor— this is
a member of the congregation whose job it is to get to know you, be a friendly face on
the day and help make the Baptism go as well as possible. Baptism Sponsors are all
regular worshippers who know how important these occasions are, and who will do
what they can to help you feel at ease when the big day comes. They can also tell
you a bit more about the life of the Church—activities for children and adults,
services and so on.  If you have a connection with one of our Sponsors (e.g. if you
have previously brought a child for Baptism here, or one of the Sponsors happens
to be a friend or neighbour of ours), please let us know. We will see if we can arrange
for them to be your child’s Sponsor.  After the baptism preparation evening your
Baptism Sponsor will visit you in your home to get to know you and answer any
questions you may have.

 

WHAT IF WE NEED TO POSTPONE OR CANCEL
THE BAPTISM SERVICE? 

PLEASE GET IN TOUCH AS SOON AS POSSIBLE! 

We will do all we can to help. If for any reason you change your plans, please let us know. 
If possible, we like to see you in person—Thursday evenings are usually the best times—
but you may prefer to write. We prefer not to change arrangements over the ‘phone. 
If your address or telephone numbers change, please let us know. If we are not able to
contact you we may assume that the Baptism is cancelled!

FOR MORE INFORMATION: 

Call the Parish Office, call in at the St Nicholas’ Centre on a Thursday evening
(7:00-7:45 PM), or come to Church on a Sunday morning (our main services
start at 10:30 AM at St Mary’s and 11:00 AM at St Nicholas’). If you are not
used to it, the best way to get a feel for the Church is to attend a service—you
will be very welcome!
We trust that all your plans go well, and that the Baptism service will be the special and
important occasion that you hope for.

Parish Office: 

(0151) 487 9965