St Paul's with St Andrew's, Hereford


For some, Baptism is a new experience and we hope you’ll find plenty of answers in this site. If you still have questions at the end, please use contact us.

What is Baptism?
It's easy to think of Baptism as simply a naming ceremony, but in fact is a lot more. Baptism is, in fact, an entry into a Christian life and a response to the goodness which God has show us. In the Bible, Baptism symbolises us being washed clean from all the bad which we've done and also the start of a new life in Christ. This is such a radical change that St Paul talks about this being like dying and coming to life again.

Obviously babies cannot make a decision like that! That's why when babies are baptised that the parents and the godparents make promises on the child's behalf. It's important that these promises are made by people who mean them, and Godparents must be baptised themselves.

So, baptism is the beginning of a life which is lived with God as the focus. It is an awesome and superb thing!

Who can be a Godparent?
A godparent is someone who represents the family of the church and is responsible for encouraging your child’s growth in faith. It is traditional that you have two godparents who are the same gender as the child and one of the opposite gender, but you can have more if you wish.

Because the godparents make promises before God on behalf of your child, they have to have been baptised themselves.

What happens in the Service?
A number of important symbols and actions will be used during the service itself:

The sign of the cross - the priest will make the sign of the cross on your child's forehead. This is like an invisible badge to show that Christians are united with Christ and must not be ashamed to stand up for their faith in him.

Anointing - oil is used to make the sign of the cross. This is a sign of the outpouring of God's Holy Spirit, and is a symbol of well being and blessing.

Water - the priest will pour water on your child's head. Water is a sign of washing and cleansing. In baptism it is a sign of being washed free from sin and beginning a new life with God.

Water is a sign of life, but also a symbol of death. When we are baptised, it is as though our old life is buried in the waters and we are raised to new life with Christ.

The welcome - the church congregation will say some formal words of welcome to acknowledge that your child has joined the Church and to show how pleased they are to have you among them.

Candles - Jesus is the Light of the World. A large candle may be lit in the church and you may also be given a lighted candle at the end of the service as a reminder of the light which has come into your child's life.

It is up to you, the child's godparents and the church community to help your child reject the world of darkness and follow a way of life that reflects goodness and light and shares this light with others.

Find out more

Find out more about Baptism and discover all you need to know about choosing, planning by visiting the Church of England Christening site.

What do I do next?
Contact us by completing the Life Events Enquiry, and we'll be in touch. Please note the form is GDPR compliant and your details will remain confidential.

Join us on Sundays at 10.00am

A church is like a family. Just as families exist in all shapes and sizes, so there is an enormous variety of churches. Encountering a new group of people who all know each other and all know what is going on can feel intimidating. St Paul's has a relaxed friendly atmosphere.


St Paul's church is open during daytime, 9.30am to 5.00pm, for anyone who wishes to spend time in prayer and reflection. We hope you find comfort and peace in this place. Whatever or whoever is on your mind today, be still before God, who cares for you and those you love.

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