Baptism

The Church of England now has an official Christenings website on which you will find many more ideas, resources and more. But not everything can find its way to an official site!  Looking for a chance to share good practice, creative ideas and resources, and a forum for asking questions, seeking support and advice, we have started this site to bring together ideas for doing baptism better:

  • How can we make baptism preparation feel more meaningful, and relevant? What resources would be useful, using not only words, but pictures and actions too.
  • How can we make the service itself work better? What sort of welcome can we offer people who come to church for a christening that enables them to engage with what’s happening and have a good enough experience that they want to come back?
  • How can we follow up with families, ensuring that they feel ‘welcomed and upheld’ in their life and faith?

The main pages on this site address these questions, and each will have a continually-expanding list of sub-pages as more good ideas are submitted.

If you have good practice ideas and experiences or resources that you’d like to share, please do let me know via a comment.

Making the Most of your Child’s Baptism (SPCK 2011) is a 32 page full colour booklet for parents, linking the baptism service with real life, and hopefully helping to make what happens at baptism last a lifetime.

Making the most of baptism (website version)– a two page document outlining what we did in my own parish, and some other practical ideas for making christenings more all-age, all-stage friendly.

Here’s a basic leaflet about baptism explaining what baptism is and what it means, that you could offer to visitors who are unfamiliar with what’s happening.

Baptism Colouring Book
Download it as a .pdf document here: Baptism colouring book
This is something that younger children can do on their own, and uses colouring pictures to illustrate the baptism service – in our church we use the same images (smaller) to illustrate our order of service so that even if parents aren’t that great at engaging their children with the service, at least they can match up what they’re doing with what they’re children are doing…
Print this out 2 pages per sheet, in the order 12,1,2,11,10,3,4,9,8,5,6,7 then copy it back to back to make a booklet.  Or your printer may have a clever printer that will do booklets for you!

Baptism activity workbook for children
Download it as a pdf here:  Baptism workbook
This is based on the same illustrations as the colouring book, but has more questions, and is either for older children to do on their own or for younger children whose parents are willing to engage with them.  My 6-year-old is a good reader and can do it on his own, but I’d be interested to hear about how you end up using it in your own church, and what age group finds it most helpful.
It is for use during or just before a baptism service:
Print this out 2 pages per sheet, in the order 12,1,2,11,10,3,4,9,8,5,6,7 then copy it back to back to make a booklet.  Or your printer may have a clever printer that will do booklets for you!

A baptism hymn
Tune: All Things Bright and Beautiful)

Bless this water, bless this child,
Upon this joyful day:
Bless us as we gather here
and lead us on our way.

We hear your voice from heaven,
speak blessings from above,
such words of affirmation,
encouragement and love.

Your faith in us is stronger
than we can ever know,
You see our true potential,
and guide us as we grow.

You give us light in darkness,
and hope when we despair,
You strengthen us in weakness
and hold us in your care.

We pray for peace and purpose,
for happiness and fun,
for health of mind and body,
till life’s adventure’s done.

 

3 thoughts on “Baptism

  1. Hi, Our church is wanting to produce a version of the morning prayer with baptism leaflet that we’ve extracted from common worship with b/w pictures to add a a bit of interest for younger children. Do you own the copyright on the graphics in you baptism workbook etc and if so are you willing for them to be used in this slightly different setting? Also can you recommend other copyright free b/w sources related to baptism and/or regular sunday services
    With thanks
    Andrew Dawswell, Vicar of Westlands, North Staffs

    1. Hi Andrew,
      All the pictures on the ‘clipart’ page (filed under ‘resources’ on this site) are my own, and you are welcome to them. In the baptism workbook, I used my own pictures (please help yourself to them!) with the exception of the crosses, hearts and star, which were from a free clipart site (and these sorts of pictures are very easily available in any case). I hope that helps! I certainly found that having pictures in the service sheets helped enornously with breaking up the very ‘wordy’ look of the liturgy, and with navigation for those less familiar with church. If you use the same images as illustrations in the service sheet as in the colouring book, then it’s easier for parents and small children to see that they’re sharing the experience in some way. Hope it all goes well for you, and every blessing on your ministry.

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