Your child's christening

Christening service

Choosing St. John's for your child's christening

Your child is precious to you and precious to God. You want the very best for them, and so does God. You want them to make the right choices in life, for themselves and for others. A christening is just the beginning of this and so much more. At St. John's in Farsley we are here to help you and your child take this first important step.

We welcome all who would like to be christened or to have their children christened at St. John's. You will sometimes hear this called a baptism. Both words mean the same.

To qualify for a christening at St. John's you must live in the parish of Farsley and Rodley, or attend the church regularly (at least once a month for six months or weekly for six weeks). Our 9:30am ABC Church service is specifically designed for families with pre-school children and babies and our 10:30am service includes a play area for the very young and a children's group for those who are 11 and under. You are very welcome at whichever service suits you best.

We also offer a service of Thanksgiving for the birth or adoption of a child. This can be in addition to, or instead of, a christening. Please ask to see both service options before you decide which is most appropriate for you and your child. There is no charge for either service but donations St. John's are always very welcome.

There is a special Church of England website to help you discover all you need to know about choosing, planning and attending a christening. It contains specific information for parents, godparents and guests.

A service of thanksgiving

Child lighting a candle

Thanksgiving is just that ... saying thank you to God for the safe arrival after birth or adoption. It can be adapted to suit you and your family’s situation. It can be any day or time and in any place (it could even be at your home). It isn’t a christening, but a christening can follow at a later date. You can choose ‘supporting friends’, if you would like, who act in a similar way to Godparents.

A christening service

Vicar christening a child

At the heart of a christening service, both parents and godparents promise to bring the child up to follow Jesus, to set an example by living as a Christian and by coming to church regularly. Please check before asking people to be Godparents that they are able to make the promises which are included in the service, and are themselves christened. If they are not christened, they can be 'supporting friends'.

The christening can take place within the regular 10:30am All Age Service (a 60 minute service with hymns attended by the whole church family) or in a separate service at 12:15pm (around 20 minutes) on the other Sundays in the month. 

Book a christening or talk to us about your christening options

If you would like to book or talk to us about a christening at St. John's, you can come along and speak to someone between 10am and 11am at our Farmers' Market which take place on the fourth Saturday or each month. Or you can email the churchwardens:

Other useful information

  • We usually show a photo of the child who is being christened on the screen at the front of church and include a photo on the baptism certificates. If you would like that to happen, please email the vicar -

  • You can take photos during the service.

  • There may be more than one family at each christening service.

  • When a boy is being christened it is usual to choose two male and one female Godparent but you can have as many as you wish.

  • When a girl is being christened it is usual to choose two female and one male Godparent but you can have as many as you wish.

  • Please check before asking people to be Godparents that they are able to make the promises which are included in the service.

  • Hymns and songs are included in the 10:30am service. Please tell us if you have any special requests which we can try to include.

  • There are usually no hymns in the 12:15pm christening service but they can be included if you wish, if you are confident your guests will sing!

  • If you would like to include a poem or a prayer or something else in the service, that is usually possible. It can be read either by a guest or the person leading the service.

  • There is no charge for either a thanksgiving or a christening service but if you wish to make a donation to St. John's that would be much appreciated, especially if you can GiftAid your donation. It costs £1000 per week to keep the church open.

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