Preparing to have your child baptised
Any child up to the age of 7 can be presented for baptism as long as one parent/guardian is already a Catholic, or else a regular attender at our parish who is preparing to become a Catholic. (Children over 7 are usually mature enough to need their own preparation course, and would be prepared for First Communion together with baptism.)
Why a preparation course?
In a baptism ceremony, parents make solemn promises to God that the child will be raised as a Catholic. What do those promises mean? In other words, what will be different about your child's life because they are Catholic? Most parents understand that this includes teaching their child to be a “good person” – caring, considerate, putting themselves out for the needs of others. Of course, lots of other religions believe in this, too! So what makes us distinct as Catholics? it's about a life which includes prayer, knowing Jesus as a person who loves us, and choosing to be part of a church family which gathers every week to do what Jesus asked us to do. For this reason, Catholic parishes run a Preparation Course for parents before they can make promises to raise their child as a Catholic.
If you regularly attend St Philip Evans Church, wish to present a child aged up to 7 for baptism, and have already attended a Baptism Preparation Course, you can make a direct approach to Deacon Steve or to Pastor Gareth to arrange to have the baptism either at the weekend Mass you usually attend, or at our monthly Baptism Ceremony on the second Sunday of the month at 12.30 pm.
If you live within the parish, or regularly attend St Philip Evans Church, wish to present a child aged up to 7 for baptism, and have NOT already attended a Baptism Preparation Course, please contact us (firstname.lastname@example.org) so we can give you dates of the next available preparation sessions. We now run these in partnership with our neighbouring parishes: times and venues may vary but courses will normally run:
SEPT, JAN, MAY – St Brigid’s
OCT, FEB, JUNE – St Teilo’s
NOV, MARCH, JULY – St Philip Evans
DEC, APRIL, AUG – Christ the King
A date for your child’s baptism will not be finalised until you have completed the course. (It is only necessary for one parent to attend the church, but both are welcome – even if one is not Catholic – and if your chosen godparents are local, they would be very welcome to come, too.) If you are expecting your first child, you are very welcome to attend the course before childbirth.
If you live elsewhere:
If you live outside St Philip Evans Parish, please be aware that the permission of your local parish priest is needed for the baptism to take place here.
If you wish to have the baptism elsewhere:
If you live in Llanedeyrn, Pentwyn, Pontrpennau or St Edeyrn's Village, but approach another priest or deacon about having the baptism elsewhere, they will ask you to come to see Pastor Gareth to obtain permission for the baptism. The best time to see him is at the end of one of the parish Masses. Note that because St Peter's Parish, Roath, receives many demands for baptisms for those who live outside Roath, they will now only allow "external" baptisms if you can arrange for one of your local priests or deacons to come with you to celebrate the baptism. Exceptions may be made if you are already a regular worshipper at St Peter's.
Who can be a godparent?
Every child being presented for baptism must have one certified godparent whose parish priest affirms (using this form) that they receive Holy Communion regularly. Other baptised Christians (Catholics or other denominations) can be listed as witnesses alongside the certified godmother and/or certified godfather. Friends and relatives who are not baptised are welcome to stand alongside you as 'honorary godparents' at the ceremony but will not be listed on the baptism certificate.
When can I have the baptism?
From September 2017, our parish policy is that infant baptism ceremonies will take place at 12.30 p.m. on the second Sunday of each month. The means each ceremony will gather together two or three families who all want to become part of our Church Family. Second Sundays are also when we offer a cup of tea or coffee after morning Mass, so guests will be able to enjoy a cup of tea or coffee before the ceremony.
When families have a special reason for needing to choose another weekend (e.g. foreign relatives visiting) we will usually be able to celebrate baptisms at the 5.15 pm Saturday Mass. Only families who regularly attend the 10.30 Sunday Mass will be able to have baptisms at this Mass, as we do not want to prolong the Signed Mass too often.
How much will it cost?
There is no fee for attending the Baptism Preparation Course. The Catholic Church does not charge for its sacraments, but it is customary to make an offering to the minister conducting the baptism, and a donation towards maintenance costs of the church. (If paying by cheque, the first is made out to the minister by name, and the second is payable to the “Parish of St Philip Evans”.) Separate fees and booking arrangements apply if you wish to hire the Parish Hall for a reception afterwards.