Do We Have To Be A Member of Walton?
No, we welcome you to have your child Baptised/ Christened at Walton, whether you are a member of the congregation or not. Of course, if you choose at some time to become a member, we would be honoured to have you.
When and Where Does The Baptism Take Place?
Baptisms/Christenings take place during one of the Sunday morning worship services in our air- conditioned sanctuary, usually within the first 20 minutes of service. In the summer our family service is at 10:00am. The rest of the year the large family service, with Sunday School and Nursery care, is at 9:30am. The smaller, traditional service is at 11:00am, which many people prefer, to allow guests who are travelling from a distance have more time to reach the church. We have baptisms about half the Sundays of the year. Dates are usually available at any given time for various Sundays over the next nine months. We work on a first come, first serve system, so the earlier you reserve your Sunday and time, the more selection of dates will be available. We normally do not have more than two families having children Baptised at any given service. A Baptism may be held any time after at least one parent has attended the Baptismal Preparation Session.
What Are The Baptismal/ Christening Preparation Sessions?
They are like a wedding rehearsal to prepare for the Baptism by going through various parts of the service. They also look at the history, holistic meaning and options in the Sacrament of Baptism/ Christening. We require at least one parent to attend a session before the actual Baptismal Sunday, although anyone is welcome to attend these sessions. Unfortunately, we do not have childcare at the sessions, which are held in the Church Sanctuary. We offer the session about every 5 to 7 weeks, usually on Saturday mornings, from 9:00am until 10:30am. When you book your Baptismal Session, you can book your Baptism at the same time.
Does My Child Have To Wear A White Gown?
No, a gown is only an option that you may or may not choose. There is no requirement on the part of the Church that a gown must be worn or that the child needs to be dressed in white. Remember, children are usually more content being cooler than warmer during the service.
Can We Have Godparents?
Yes, but they are only an option on your part. We recommend every family have legal guardians, but Godparents are optional and based on your preference and perhaps your family traditions. The Godparents may or may not be the Guardians. It is your choice. You may have anywhere from 1 to 12 Godparents. They can be relatives or friends. They do not need to be married couples. You do not have to have an even number of men or women. They can actively be involved in the service if you choose. If they are not available the day of the service, you can have them named in absentia or have a surrogate stand in for them. A Godparent Certificate can be presented to them.
Is There Any Cost?
No, there are no fees for Baptisms/Christening or any of the supplies, like the certificates or candles. If you choose to make a donation to the Church in the offering plate which is passed during the service to everyone there, that is your option.
Can I Invite My Family And Friends?
Yes, please invite as many people as you would like to the service. To help make the service as special as possible please follow these suggestions:
• Ask your guests to be at the service 15 minutes before it begins.
• Inform the guests the Baptism/ christening is at the start of the service, not the end, as many denominations have it.
• Provide a map to all your guests so they know exactly where the Church is located (available from the Church office or website:www.waltonmemorial.com ) .
• Remind them if they do get here early they will be able to find a good parking space close to the building, plus a better seat in the Church, closer to where the Baptism/ Christening is being performed. This will help you to enjoy the Baptism even more.