Question about Christening rules

Discussion in 'New Members' started by Ben Fielding, Jan 21, 2023.

  1. Ben Fielding

    Ben Fielding New Member

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    Hi,

    I live in London having been born in Australia where I was christened in the Anglican church and later confirmed in my teenage years. I'll be brutally honest and say that between school and now, while I have never lost my faith in the Lord and Jesus I didn't attend church regularly, but especially haven't done so since I moved to London.

    This changed for me late last year when my son was born. This spured me to think about how I had negleted my faith but more importantly that I needed to make preperations for my son to be christened.

    I went to my parish church (a few streets away) and I have been told that my son will not be baptised by the church unless I have been attending for six months. Is this normal? If it is thats ok and I have been now been attending church for the last 3mths, but the more I reflect on it the more it seems a little unusal. I never thought that decisions I made about my life would ever disqualify my son from being christened/baptised (ie. the church won't accept my son at the moment because I haven't been attending on a regular basis).

    Just wanting to find out if this requirement seems pretty normal for a child to be accepted by the church?

    thanks

    Ben
     
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  2. anglican74

    anglican74 Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Yes that’s pretty normal, because to raise a Christian family is not easy, what with forming your child, having godparents with a faith strong enough to speak for your son, and such.. The Church wants to make sure that the parents are spiritually and mentally prepared to raise up a whole new little Christian who will spend his life trying to live holy and resist the world, the flesh, and the devil
     
  3. Ben Fielding

    Ben Fielding New Member

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    @anglican74 - thanks for response and reassurance.
     
  4. AnglicanAgnostic

    AnglicanAgnostic Well-Known Member

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    Why don't you remind the vicar of his legal responsabilities.

    Canon B 22 Of the baptism of infants, paragraph 4 is unambiguous in identifying the duty of the clergy,

    ‘No minister shall refuse or, save for the purpose of preparing or instructing the parents or guardians or godparents, delay to baptize any infant within his cure that is brought to the church to be baptized, provided that due notice has been given and the provisions relating to godparents in these Canons are observed.’

    The fuller appreciation of this issue can be found here
    https://lawandreligionuk.com/2012/09/03/baptism-canon-law-and-the-church/
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2023
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  5. Invictus

    Invictus Well-Known Member

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    In my experience (in the U.S.), this isn’t normal.
     
  6. Ben Fielding

    Ben Fielding New Member

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    @Invictus and AnglicanAgnostic - cheers.

    The last few months since returning to regular chruch attendance haven't been the best, I mean don't get me wrong its not like my hands are clean and I did just turn up at church some 3mths ago and asked about being able to have my son christened, but at the same time I did it becuase my mum and dad were travelling over from Australia for the birth and both are elderly and unwell.

    The first question they asked after they knew mum and baby were ok was if they could buy him his first bible and could the christening be done while they were visiting. This prompted me to finally get my backside in gear and get up to church afer all these years, which is when I was met with this 6mth rule.

    My parents have since had to return to Australia so that oppertunity was lost to celebrate the christening as a full family and since then it has bugged me a little bit, but I know in the grand scheme of things getting my son christened is a lot more important than the grandparents being there.
     
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  7. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    Some might think it 'normal' but in fact according to Anglican Church Law, it is illegal to refuse baptism to any parisioner, (i.e. someone who merely lives in the parish), unless it is clearly evident that their request is incincere or any of the Godparents are not themselves baptised into the Christian faith. Oddly, the parents don't have to have themselves been baptised, and I simply can't think why this should be so, except perhaps it is a legal oversight and a rather stupid mistake.

    Thank you Anglican Agnostic. You got there before me. :thumbsup:

    Unfortunately a lot of Anglican churches have been 'infected' by 'Americanised' notions influenced by Baptist style theology. Although they still baptise infants they seem to know nothing of Covenant Theology and how that affects the effects and purpose of infant baptism. Neither do they understand the extent of parental and God parents responsibility before God to bring up these children, who belong to God, - in the fear and nurture of The Lord -. It is a sign of a growing ignorance of Anglican understandings of the way the grace of God operates among his own people. I recommend reading "The Biblical Doctrine of Infant Baptism" by Pierre Ch. Marcel (Translated by Philip Edgcumbe Hughes)
    .
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2023
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  8. CRfromQld

    CRfromQld Moderator Staff Member

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    We had our children baptised when we weren't ourselves going to church. I think this did two things;
    • It kept the door open for us to start attending later.
    • It started me thinking about the place of faith in my life.