WORSHIPPING, CARING, SHARING
in the name and love of God
St Laurence, Appleton
is a registered Fairtrade Church
According to Church Law [Canon B 22(4)], the incumbent or priest-in-charge has a clear duty not to refuse to baptize an infant from their parish: if a family lives in the parish, they have a legal right to have their child baptised in the parish church. If a family lives outside the parish, the parents have a right to have their child baptised if at least one of their names is on the St Laurence Church electoral roll. Additionally, parents who live outside the parish but are not on the electoral roll may request baptism for their child if there is a strong family connection to St Laurence Church. In such cases:
1. The incumbent and parents must have the consent of the (“local”) vicar in whose parish the family reside.
2. The incumbent and the local vicar will work together to ensure adequate preparation for the baptism (see below).
3. The incumbent and the local vicar will work together to ensure that, after baptism, the family are welcomed into the life of their local parish church.
4. The decision will be at the discretion of the incumbent, who will seek guidance from the PCC as appropriate.
In this parish we seek to offer thorough preparation for those wishing to have their children baptised. This preparation will consist of:
1. An initial meeting with the incumbent, during which both A Service of Thanksgiving and The Service of Baptism are clearly explained to the families concerned. Appropriate forms and supplementary literature are distributed.
2. A Baptism Preparation course. This will usually involve 4 sessions, either in a group setting or in the family’s own home. Parents enquiring about baptism for their child should expect to complete this course before they make any arrangements or bookings relating to a specific date.
According to Church Law [Canon B21], baptism should take place in the context of the principal worship-service on Sunday. Therefore, at St Laurence Church, Appleton:
1. Baptisms take place at the 10 am Sunday service, with a date agreed by the incumbent (who will take into account various factors, incl. the church calendar).
2. A ‘private baptism’ may be considered in exceptional circumstances (e.g. grave or life-threatening illness).
A Service of Thanksgiving includes neither parental promises nor a commitment to church membership. The service offers a family the opportunity to express gratitude to God for (the safe arrival of) their child and to ask for God’s blessing. For this reason, a Thanksgiving may take place either during the principal Sunday service or on a Sunday afternoon. In all cases, the date and time must be agreed with the incumbent.
All enquiries about Baptism or Thanksgiving will be dealt with carefully and in a pastorally sensitive way. Parents will be encouraged to consider the options with integrity, and to engage seriously with the church’s faith and life. In case of any dispute, the incumbent will seek guidance from the PCC; if the matter is not resolved to the family’s satisfaction, it may be referred to the Area Bishop. Further information for parents is available on the Church of England website: click here