Church of England Baptism
A baptism - also called christening - in the Church of England is usually held in the parent's parish church or a church within the district in which the baby was born.
Parents are encouraged to opt for the baptism taking place during a Sunday church service, allowing the congregation to welcome the child into the family of the Church. Some parents request a private service that is held separately to normal worship. Nowadays, both are equal in popularity.
Many priests will want to see the parents for a few preparation meetings beforehand, especially if they are not regular church-goers.
During the baptism service, the parents and godparents gather together with the baby and the priest, usually around the church's font, to make a series of religious declarations. They are required to declare, in unison, their belief in God, and that the child will be brought up following Jesus.
The priest marks the sign of the cross on the baby's forehead, and will say:
'Christ claims you for his own. Receive the sign of his cross. Do not be ashamed to confess the faith of Christ crucified.'
The priest then pours some water on the child's head, symbolising the washing away of all sin to begin a new life with God, saying 'X, I baptise you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.'
If the ceremony is taking place during a normal service, the congregation may join in at this point, and a candle is lit symbolising Jesus as the light of the world.
For more information please see the Church of England website