St Johns East Malvern

Frequently asked questions about Baptisms at Saint John’s

When do baptisms usually take place?

Baptisms at Saint John’s are usually celebrated at the main Sunday Eucharist at 9.30am. However, in consultation with the Vicar they can also be held at other times – usually Sunday afternoon or, more occasionally, Saturday.

Who can be sponsors or godparents?

Godparents or sponsors do not need to be Anglican, but must be baptised themselves, and should be practicing Christians who are worshipping members of a church. In order to exercise their responsibilities effectively, sponsors need a mature understanding of the way of Christ. Parents may also wish to have other friends and family members join alongside the sponsors in committing themselves to the spiritual development and wellbeing of their children. Read more on the role and responsibilities of godparents

What is the difference between a baptism and a christening?

The words baptism and christening are interchangeable and there is no difference between being baptised or christened. The word ‘baptism’ comes from the Greek verb to submerge, focusing on the physical action of immersing candidates in the baptismal waters. On the other hand, to ‘christen’ emphasises the idea that in baptism we are made one with Jesus, the Christ.

What promises do parents and sponsors to make?

Parents and sponsors make a number of promises on behalf of their children or godchildren during the baptism service. Contact the Vicar for a list of the promises made in baptism.

Do we need to attend Church before the baptism service?

Baptism marks entry into the Christian community and it is appropriate that parents bring their children to Church before and after their initiation into the life of Jesus. Saint John’s offers a number of services for children and families appropriate to different ages and stages of life.

What happens on the day?

Parents and sponsors arrive approximately ten minutes before the service and sit in the front pews on either side of the church. Most baptisms are incorporated into the main Sunday Eucharist, which is just over one hour in length. The baptism service occurs just after the homily, as a response to the Gospel, when the celebrant will invite sponsors and family members to gather around the font.

Is baptism in the Anglican Church recognized by other Christian denominations?

Yes. When we are baptised, we join the universal Christian Church. We are not merely members of a particular denomination or parish.

When can infants and young children begin to receive Holy Communion?

Baptism marks full entry into the life of the Christian community, and all those who have been baptised may receive the sacrament of Holy Communion. However the tradition of the Church has been to delay the reception of Holy Communion by young children until they receive some instruction in the nature of this sacrament. In particular, this milestone is marked liturgically by the service of Confirmation – conducted by a Bishop. Please contact the Vicar for details of upcoming opportunities for preparation and instruction for those seeking Confirmation.

Is there a fee for baptism?

Baptism is a gift from God and the Church and there is no fee for the service. Parents may still wish to make a special offering on this day to support the work of the church, and as an expression of their own baptismal commitment and thankfulness for the many gifts of God.

It is good practice to allow around six weeks notice for baptism, except in emergencies.

Download the Baptism Application Form

The Parish Office
Saint John the Evangelist
7 Finch Street
Malvern East VIC 3145

Telephone (03) 9571 6616