The Parish Church of

St James the Great



The United Benefice of Chapelthorpe and Woolley

with West Bretton


Baptism (Christening)

A Baptism also known as a Christening is a Holy Sacrament within the Church and is available to all ages. 

We are all precious in the eyes of God, and in a baptism we commit ourselves to God and His Church. For children, their parents and godparents make vows (promises) on behalf of the child, an adult will make the vows themselves, though a Sponsor from one of our churches will also be required.

A Sponsor within the church befriends the individual and comes alongside them. Helping them on their spiritual journey and also presents the adult in the baptism on behalf of the church.  Stating that they are of good faith and that they understand the vows that they are about to make.

Child or adult, a baptism is a commitment to start as you mean to go on.  This is a solemn vow made to God who knows our true hearts and inner thoughts, and why we stand before Him at a baptism at the start of our Christian journey. 

Godparents have an important role and have to be baptised so that they can make the vows as a Christian before God. When asked by the priest they will need to present their Baptism Certificate so this can be added into our church records (Baptism Register). If they cannot provide their certificate they will need to contact the church where they were baptised and request a copy. If they haven't been baptised they would need to contact their parish church and ask the priest about being baptised. The parish church can be found by simply typing in a postcode into the following link A Church Near You As parents you may decide only to ask family and friends who have already been baptised, so not to cause any delays.

As part of our 'Baptism Preparation' we would love to see you and your godparents attend church regularly to experience another sacrament known as The Eucharist (Holy Communion). In these busy days 'regular' doesn't mean every Sunday and there isn't a set number of Sundays to attend, it's more about building the relationship with the God, the Church and the church family. Once we have got to know you and you us, you will be given a 'Baptism Request Form.'  On receipt of the form a date and time will be agreed, we ask that you do not book a venue for your reception until the form has been given back, as another family may already booked that date. As part of the discernment you we will then be invited to attend our 'Baptism Preparation Class.' In this class you will meet other families for baptisms. You will be given an overview about baptisms and what it means within the Church and the importance of the vows you are making before God. We will also go through the service so you as parents and godparents know what to expect. It's also your opportunity to ask any questions that you may have. Classes are usually held on a Tuesday at 6pm when we have a number of families. Please note that non-attendance at the class may result in the date you have been given to be cancelled and offered to another family.

Across our churches of St James the Great Chapelthorpe, St Peter's Woolley and The Church at West Bretton baptisms are held in the main Sunday service known as The Euchraist. Baptisms are only outside of this pattern for medical emergencies. Baptisms are generally not taken in the seasons of Advent and Lent, which are penetential times within the Church.

After reading the above you may feel that the time just isn't right for you to make those commitments on behalf of your child before God.  You may then want to consider a service called a 'Thanksgiving for the Gift of a Child' details of this service can be found on another page on this site. Whichever service you choose the clergy and the congregations will support you on your journey.

I look forward to meeting you in church, at your first tentative steps in discerment. 

The link below will take you to a Word document that will hopefully answer some of your questions. 


We look forward to meeting you, your family, your godparents and your guests. 

The Reverend Kevin Greaves

Priest of The Benefice of Chapelthorpe, Woolley and West Bretton


Baptism Covid Guidance

Guidance to Family and Guests

Thursday 23rd May
7:00pm - 8:00pm -
Sunday 26th May
11:00am - 12:15pm -
12:15pm - 1:15pm -
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