*** DEBUG END ***

Baptism in the main Sunday service

17 August 2012


Sir, - My son recently decided to hold a naming ceremony for his new baby, and I was, at first, quite upset. My wife and I would have much preferred a church baptism. Since attending a baptism at a local church, we have changed our minds. My son and his partner were absolutely right to organise a simple ceremony that featured the child as the focus of the proceedings.

The deciding factor was the way baptism has been tacked on to the general service as an afterthought, mentioned once at the start of the service, and then totally ignored until it featured as an add-on just before the end. No thought was given to the choice of readings: the Old Testament verses referred to David's sexual assault of Beersheba and the orchestrated murder of her husband! The sermon totally ignored the child and parents, and the whole procedure seemed impersonal, and showed a marked lack of interest on the part of the church. Time, I feel, for some training sessions and information sheets for incumbents and churchwardens.

Is this really the way in which the C of E wants to greet and welcome new members to the family of Christ? Unfortunately, my experience of baptism in a variety of churches shows that it is. Lumping the rite of baptism on to the end of the Sunday service has allowed lazy and slipshod practice that takes little or no account of the individuals and families involved.


Browse Church and Charity jobs on the Church Times jobsite

Letters to the editor

Letters for publication should be sent to letters@churchtimes.co.uk.

Letters should be exclusive to the Church Times, and include a full postal address. Your name and address will appear below your letter unless requested otherwise.

Forthcoming Events


Church Times/RSCM: 

Intercultural Church for a Multicultural World

28 May 2024

A Church Times/Church House Publishing webinar

Tickets are FREE


Church Times/Modern Church:

A Political Faith?

Monday 3 June 2024

This panel will explore where Christians have come to in terms of political power and ask, where should we go next?

Online tickets available


Church Times/Modern Church:

Participating in Democracy

Monday 10 June 2024

This panel will explore the power of voting, and power beyond voting.

Online tickets available


Green Church Awards

Closing date: 30 June 2024

Read more details about the awards


Church Times/Canterbury Press:

Festival of Preaching

15-17 September 2024

The festival moves to Cambridge along with a sparkling selection of expert speakers

Early bird tickets available



The Church Times Archive

Read reports from issues stretching back to 1863, search for your parish or see if any of the clergy you know get a mention.

FREE for Church Times subscribers.

Explore the archive

Welcome to the Church Times


To explore the Church Times website fully, please sign in or subscribe.

Non-subscribers can read four articles for free each month. (You will need to register.)