As you enter most church buildings you find a Font near the door. That represents the way, since the time of Jesus, that people have become members of the Christian Church by being baptized or christened (those two words tend to be used interchangeably).

In the Beaminster Area Team Ministry we are always very happy to hear from parents who would like their child or children christened. We are also very happy to hear from young people or adults who would like to ask for baptism for themselves.

A little technical note! Most people talk about a "Christening". However, correctly speaking, the whole service is called "Baptism". And "baptism" is the word that describes the child or adult having water poured or sprinkled over their forehead, with the words 'I baptize you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit'. Again, technically speaking, "Christening" describes the point in the service when the child or adult has the Sign of the Cross marked on their forehead (in water or holy oil) and is "connected" with Christ. Having said that, most people still refer to the service as a "Christening"!

If you would like to arrange for your child to be christened/baptized, then please contact our Team Administrator, Peter Slimon. (The details of how to do that are shown below.) He will talk with you about which of our churches you would like the service to be at (normally, the nearest to you; but it might be the church where you yourself were christened) and about when it might happen. We usually have a christening/baptism during the main Sunday service - as that is when the people of the Church are gathered for worship - which is part of the meaning, by becoming a member of the Christian Church.

People normally want to know what the Fee for baptism is - how much does it cost?

There is no Fee. However, (in another way) most people feel they want to make a donation to the Church as a token of gratitude - as well as a way of helping their local parish Church to keep going in these difficult financial times. But it is important to stress that that is not a Fee. Theologically, Baptism is a gift of God, given freely, like God's love for us all.

Here are some of the usual rules in the Church of England that we follow:

1. The Church of England prefers that a child should be baptized at his parish Church or at the Church her parents normally attend. For those living outside the Beaminster Team Area (unless the parents are on the Church Electoral Roll) the goodwill of their own parish priest must be obtained before any arrangements can be made for a baptism here. (The Team Administrator can supply a short form to make that easier.)
2. It is usual to have three godparents: two of the same sex as the child and one of the opposite sex; but to have one godfather and one godmother is sufficient. It is permissible to have more than three godparents.

3. Parents may be godparents to their own children, provided that the child has at least one other godparent.
4. Church law requires that godparents should be baptized and confirmed, but the requirement of confirmation can be relaxed in certain cases. The minimum requirement is that all godparents have been baptized and that at least one godparent has been baptized and confirmed.
5. In the Baptism service the parents and godparents are asked various questions. To answer those questions honestly, parents and godparents need to share the Christian belief in God and be willing:
{ to the best of their ability to give the child a Christian upbringing within the family of Christ's Church;
{ to help the child to be regular in public worship and private prayer, not only by teaching, but also by example and prayer;
{ to encourage the child in due time to come to Confirmation and Communion.

So if you would like to contact Sally Burrows, then you can write, call in, e-mail, or telephone:

The Team Administrator, Beaminster Area Team Ministry, Church Office,
8 Hogshill Street, Beaminster, Dorset, DT8 3AE:
(Sally is normally there Tuesday and Wednesday mornings)

Telephone: 01308 862320 or 07814 363910

The Administrator will send you a form to fill in - with the names and other details of the person to be baptised, along with names of parents and godparents. That form should be returned not less than two weeks before the day of Baptism.

Whichever priest is going to take the service will contact you and talk through what will happen at the service.

At the service, the details from the form that has been completed will be entered in the Baptism Register of the church. The parents (or candidate) will then be given a Certificate of Baptism and cards for parents and godparents.

It will be very good to welcome the newly baptised child - and family - to future Family Services and other events in church!

If there are any confidential questions about our Baptism Policy or anything else, please contact the Team Clergy, who are:

The Reverend David Baldwin, Team Rector
The Rectory
3 Clay Lane
Dorset DT8 3BU
Tel: 01308 862150