Christening - is baptism prep essential??

Hi Ladies,
I have booked lo's christening for October but the vicar has asked/stated that we must go to a baptism preparation course. Did any of you who have had your lo's christened have to do this? Is it essential? The thing is, we are having him christened at the church we got married in, which is where my parents live (over an hour away), the vicar asked us to see if there was a prep class locally, which there isnt, so has booked us in for one that she runs. As its mid week, it is going to be an inconvenience to try and get there and back, and then there is lo to consider - we would have to stay at my parents and ask them to babysit, but my inlaws are due down the same day!!! Oh its so complicated!

Did anyone else have this mentioned to them?

Thanks in advance

Becky x


  • We had to attend them in order to be able to book our christening. My mum and dad go to this church regularly and i used to aswell. It was standard for everyone.

    Could you possibly explain your difficulties in gettin there etc, and perhaps jst go and have a chat with him or somethin?

  • we had to attend and tbh i think its rude if you dont. i had to only attend once but my friend went 3 times. i like a dumb ass got my days mixed up and forgot to go i was mortified i rand the vicar up and really apologised he was so understanding christened daisy no problem but asked us to attend a nother preperation evening after the christening. my oh didnt want to go and said we dont have to go now shes been christened, but i thought it would be disprespectful not to go xx
  • Hi

    We had Kitty christened on sunday and no such thing was even mentioned to us! I didn't even know they did them! I guess our vicar is a little laid back.

  • Hi

    We had Kitty christened on sunday and no such thing was even mentioned to us! I didn't even know they did them! I guess our vicar is a little laid back.

  • Ok, thanks ladies, glad to hear some of you have had experience of this. I think In laws will come down regardless but hubby has a call in that night so won't be able to go so I will have to leave lo with my parents after settling him in bed and then drive back home despite causing disruption to him. Oh well, c'est la vie!

  • i am gatecrashing as this was on the main page. i find it really strange that you think the prep is an inconvienience you can do without. baptism is a sacrament were your baby becomes part of the Church, which affects their life. it is not a party to introduce your baby to your family; it is to introduce your baby to the Church and you make serious promises connected with their upbringing eg your role in ensuring they are raised in the Church. the prep goes through the importance of baptism, the meaning of it and the symbolism of all the elements. it is the start of their christian life. have you really considered why you want your baby baptised?
  • we has jessica christened and we didnt have to go before hand. we're going on sunday 13th sept to collect her certificate!!!
  • I dont find the class itself an "inconvenience", just that that is the only class available, mid week, and its 70 miles away! My local church doesn't run them, so I assume that it is not required at every parish, therefore why I posted this thread - to see who else has undertaken this and whether it has been essential -

    apparently not.

    My family and friends have already met my baby - hence there being no need for a "party to introduce him" . Oh. and I don't need the lecture thank you very much, I understand exactly what baptism is - I posted on here for the aforementioned reason.

    I appreciate your concern though Calleigh.
  • We've just had our prep evening. A lady came from the church tonight after Charlotte went to bed. We went thru the service. What hymns we want (yikes - told everyone we wont need hymns and there is only 20 of us there)!! Plus we are having a special prayer wrote for Charlotte and us for the baptism which is great imo.

    I think it's right for the church to do these things. Some parents just want their children christened and don't even think of the meaning, they just want to say they've had their lo christened.

    Same when we got married in church. We attended prep classes of a period of weeks and attended churches where our banns were read.
  • i have worked in churches and schools and frequently come across parents who have no idea what it means to be a christian and to be baptised and who are only interested in it as it's the done thing and it gets them into the school of choice. they are usually also the ones who dont attend church anyway and have no intention of taking their children to church after the event. apologies. obviously you are not one of the people who wont set foot in churches other than weddings and christenings.

    i do find it starnge that you lo is not getting baptised in the church you go to every week. my preist would be tut at that!
  • In response Calleigh, we did have to ask our parish priest's permission to have lo christened at the church we wanted. We felt that, for me particularly, this particular church is special being in the parish that I grew up in, where my grandma was buried and where we were married. For me there is more sentiment and meaning in having him christened there, its not an everyday occurence.

    It just strikes me odd how some parishes hold these classes and others don't - such as my own local one!
  • dont want to get into a religeous argument here but regarding the comment about 'obviously you arnt one of the ones who dont go to church unless its a christening or wedding' i find a little bit offensive!!! i am c of e and yes i believe in god and have great respect for the church. i wanted my lo christened for lots of reasons one being i was christened and i believe in after life. one of my biggest fears was that we would not all eventually end up in the same place unless she was christened.
    i dont go to church unless it is christmas or sometimes easter but mainly i go to weddings and christenings . god doesnt insist we go to church !!! we can have our own beliefs and faith but no one insists we go to church . I am glad there are teachers like yourselves to teach my child about this subject becouse it is unlikely i will be going to church every week unless she asks me to take her it doesnt change the way i feel about my religeon though x
  • yes thats nice. its the same with wedding prep. some parishes you see the priest once to talk about the importance of marriage, some you go 3-4 times, my friends (despite being in the same diocese as me) had to go on a 2 weekends long course! which would be less funny if they both didnt have theology degrees and teach the importance of marriage to year 10 every year! i did laugh. me and hubs had 2 meetings with the priest marrying us about the legal and technical, but 3 with the priest doing the actual marriage prep.
  • Hi, I haven't had to have this thankfully as I had my first lo and am about to get my second lo christened at my family church and where hubby and I got married in the UK and we now live in Norway! Would be a bit of a trek for an hours service!
    We had an hours meet up with the Rector a few days before the baptism with my first lo to talk about it and generally chat to be honest! At the moment the plans for my second los baptism have all been done via e-mail to the Rector or through my Mum.
    I am fully aware of what a baptism is all about having been baptised myself and later confirmed. I had a few meetings with the Rector before we got married which I found useful but I don't really see what I would get from baptism classes. Our Rector does request that you should be baptised yourself and that all the godparents should be baptised which I understand.
    I am C&E so I guess our church is probably more relaxed than others, people go to Church for a whole number of reasons and I don't see the harm in any of them personally. x
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