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To christen your child when you do not attend church a bit showy

(178 Posts)
Illustrationaddict Wed 01-May-13 09:44:09

I struggle with the idea of christening your child if you do not regularly attend church (as in more than Christmas and a friends wedding). Got a few coming up and know the parents don't go. I am not religious, but find it strange when people who do not attend church insist on vowing to raise their child with the christian faith. I have to say I find the whole concept a bit showy, why not just be honest and throw your child a welcome to the world party? AIBU?

Juniperdewdropofbrandy Wed 01-May-13 09:46:32

A lot do it for their families. Their families would find WTTW parties woo and weird.

I had mine baptised but I did attend at the time. Changed religion now though.

DaisyFlower123 Wed 01-May-13 09:48:44

I'm with you on this one, I find it odd that people go through that ceremony when they have no religious belief. I also then find the whole thing a little creepy (i.e. the words everyone has to say) if you don't believe this. Seems hypocritical to me and also a little insulting to people who really do believe and hold their faith very dear to them.

ChocsAwayInMyGob Wed 01-May-13 09:48:57


I sort of see your point. I go a few times a year but both DCs are christened. I guess it's the same reason people get married in church. It's just traditional I suppose.

I did read a thread on here once where the parents of the baptised child didn't want any religious gifts and even returned a bible. Now that really is taking the piss.

Otherwise, it's not something I mind, as long as people don't then slag off the church.

Binkybix Wed 01-May-13 09:50:06

I think it's a really odd thing to do.

angelos02 Wed 01-May-13 09:50:18

YANBU. Same goes for marriages in church when the bride & groom aren't regular attenders. Churches shouldn't allow it but I would imagine they need the money.

PlasticLentilWeaver Wed 01-May-13 09:50:19

None of your business why they choose to do it. Can't see what's 'showy' about a christening per se. It can be a very low key affair.

I am not a church goer, quite the opposite, but had no.1 son christened before I got off the fence. Had no.2 done so that they were treated equally. DH is not christened, it caused problems when we were getting married. For me, it is a pointless event, but if it makes choices easier for them as adults, why not.

Plus, it would have upset my parents if I hadn't had them christened. So in the interests of family peace and harmony etc, it made sense.

Does any of that help you understand?

BlueSkySunnyDay Wed 01-May-13 09:51:49

I think for some families its just something you "do" (plus perhaps always the thought in the back of your mind if you went to a christian school but ended up an aetheist "what if im wrong?")

We considered it as a social "lets introduce everyone to our child and have a party" but decided against it.

Having said that our local church is crumbling so to be honest they could do with all the money they can get even if its not from "churchgoers"

DS asked at one point "Mum am I going to hell because I havent been christened?" as the issued had been raised in an assembly at his non-denominational school by his new religious headmaster. hmm

BumpingFuglies Wed 01-May-13 09:51:53

You don't have to attend church to be a Christian.

MrsEddChina Wed 01-May-13 09:52:08

It's exactly why I had a registry office wedding and my baby will not be christened.

I find it hypocritical to stand in front of everyone and pledge myself or my daughter to a religion I don't believe in and have no intention of following.

I also hate it when couples just attend church so they can marry there then never set foot in one again.

Binkyridesagain Wed 01-May-13 09:52:23

You can practice a faith without visiting a place of worship. I can't see what is wrong with having a child christened if you are not a regular church goer, as long as you practice your faith.

If you're not religious and still want your DCs to be christened then I agree, its showy.

CPtart Wed 01-May-13 09:52:54

We had both our DC christened although we never go to church. Simple get them into the local catholic primary and then secondary schools which are the best by miles in the area.
Hypocritical..of course.

BlueSkySunnyDay Wed 01-May-13 09:54:58

Lets see churches ban everyone except those who attend from getting married and christened there and see how long it takes for them to come to us non believers, cap in hand, for money to maintain the buildings grin

shewhowines Wed 01-May-13 09:56:15

I know a friend who wasn't christened and was very embarrassed about doing it when she was older, even though she wanted to do it because she believed in God.

For that reason i've christened mine, despite me not being religious. It won't harm them if they choose not to believe, but they are christened if they do.

eminemmerdale Wed 01-May-13 09:57:34

None of my three are christened. I think it should be a personal choice when they are older. I think what put me off was when ex-h was godfather to a friends child and he stood there saying about how he would bring the child up to know God etc, when he was so unreligious it is unreal - despite his father being a canon! I have unofficial 'godparents' for them all, who are there as friends to give them help if ever they need it. To me, it is hypocrisy. Sorry!

WilsonFrickett Wed 01-May-13 10:00:51

We don't believe in God. So we had a naming ceremony. Was lovely and not a bit woo. YANBU.

FriendlyLadybird Wed 01-May-13 10:01:58

You are a bit. People have all sorts of complicated reasons for doing what they do. Don't assume it's showiness.

FreudiansSlipper Wed 01-May-13 10:02:09

i would have thought it is more to do with getting children into a particular school

Illustrationaddict Wed 01-May-13 10:02:41

Sorry plasticlentilweaver, I can't see how it would make choices as an adult easier? I'm not christened (although my Mum goes to church every week) (who btw isn't christened either) and its never been an issue for either of us.

The whole 'showy' comment comes from the fact that the christenings we've been invited to are for 60+ people, and gifts are expected. One in particular, over 100+ expected, including family from abroad, and they have never been to a service in the chosen church.

ChocsAwayInMyGob Wed 01-May-13 10:07:28

OP, I agree with your comment about making it a big family ding dong with guests from abroad etc. That does sound a bit much.

I do have Christian faith, of sorts, and I believe in God, but I only go to church a few times a year. I often , however, like to sit in an empty church and pray and think. I don't know my vicar well enough to know my name though.

foreversunny Wed 01-May-13 10:08:26


I find it hypocritical to stand in front of everyone and pledge myself or my daughter to a religion I don't believe in and have no intention of following

^ This.

DoubleMum Wed 01-May-13 10:08:31

Well those 2 christenings are showy, but most aren't.
My MIL had her babies christened because being unchristened herself she was unable to get married in a church (her DH wanted to). She wanted to give them the option.

MissyMooandherBeaverofSteel Wed 01-May-13 10:11:06

I had my son christened just after he died, I had my daughter christened just before she died. It wasn't showy, I don't attend church regularly, I haven't attended at all since my children died tbh, but I do believe in God and I wanted my children to be christened. Is it so hard to understand that people feel the need to do things for their own personal reasons that you may not be privvy to?

pebbles1234 Wed 01-May-13 10:16:43

I'm a somewhat lapsed catholic, do go occasionally, not just xmas but far from regularly. We had ds baptised as it was something that meant alot to my mum (married in a catholic church for the same reason) we only had grandparents and godparents there, and didn't mention it to friends, however afterwards we got lots of sniffy comments about how we hadn't invited people... So not sure what the best option is! we're planning to do the same for dc2 in a few months so no doubt more of the same!

meditrina Wed 01-May-13 10:17:03

It's OK to be lukewarm about religion, and only observe some of a church's practices. Far more people identify as Christian than actually attend regularly, and this might be an emanation of that approach.

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