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To want a bloody christening?!?

(61 Posts)
Pumpertrumper Mon 01-Jun-20 16:48:29

Forgive me, I know with all that’s going on it’s not a priority but I’m desperate to christen my DS with at least a few family members present.

There just seems to be no guidance as to when funerals/weddings/christenings might resume (in any form) and I’m getting fed up and frustrated at all of the pictures/posts/reports of people ditching lockdown and going about their everyday business. It’s gone back to normal pretty much where we live, street parties, beach trips, kids playing out on the streets.
Because of this I’ve given up hope that we’ll reach a point we’re told it’s ‘ok’ to be normal again before we’re plunged into a big second wave.

Would it really be that impossible, our rural village church? 10-15 people all very generously spaced out.

DS is my first baby and I’ve been suffering MH since long before his birth (horrible pregnancy) I’m fed up as was so looking forward to a nice christening and now there’s no light at the end of the tunnel.

OP’s posts: |
StillCoughingandLaughing Mon 01-Jun-20 17:01:09

I get that it’s frustrating. The thing is, the changes you describe, such as people meeting in bigger groups or going to the beach, are harder to police than organised events. A police officer could potentially approach a group of eight in a park and say ‘there should only be six of you maximum’, but unless officers are assigned to every park every day, such breaches will largely go unnoticed. When it comes to something like booking a church for a set date and time, they’re obliged to tell you ‘No’.

BackforGood Mon 01-Jun-20 17:18:57

Plus, congregations aren't able to meet for themselves. Are you part of that congregation? Not sure that opening up for a Christening where folk aren't actually part of the Church would be a priority.

DioneTheDiabolist Mon 01-Jun-20 17:22:44

Speak to your priest/vicar OP, it's possible that they would do an outdoor christening.

ConstanceSalinger Mon 01-Jun-20 17:26:29

Are you part of the regular congregation? Admittedly it is hard with little ones, our local church has family services once a month usually, so if you miss that one then it's a while before you end up going again.

If you just want a nice party and an excuse to dress up then do it anyway within the guidelines, to avoid nosey MN'ers ringing up and reporting you...

YinuCeatleAyru Mon 01-Jun-20 17:27:32

Christenings can take place outdoors, it isn't like weddings where it has to be in a licenced venue. maybe the minister would agree to do a ceremony in the church yard - and if the layout allows it, family members could congregate at well-placed intervals around the edge of the space without being gathered "in one place"

ConstanceSalinger Mon 01-Jun-20 17:29:34

Quite agree though with PP. The church will open for more important services than Christenings first. With the backlog you'll likely be sharing the service with a number of families as part of the usual Sunday service.

Pumpertrumper Mon 01-Jun-20 17:30:03


We aren’t part of our villages congregation as we moved in 4 weeks before lockdown. I was very unwell, then DS arrived 1 week before lockdown.

OP’s posts: |
Sirzy Mon 01-Jun-20 17:30:52

Can you not look to plan it for 6 months time so you can plan a proper occasion that you can all enjoy?

If you did it now even simple things like photos of godparents holding the baby wouldn’t be possible.

BogRollBOGOF Mon 01-Jun-20 17:34:45

In the questions of yesterday's briefing, church activities were discussed and small weddings were referred to as being higher up the list between private prayer provision and full services resuming. A small Christening would presumably be logistically feasable along with small weddings.

Maybe this would be a good point to review English wedding law about having to be under a structure, although some venues do have a lisenced pergola as a loop hole.

Ellisandra Mon 01-Jun-20 17:34:45

It’s not only about how few people you invite, it’s about a vicar being so close to your baby.
CofE (if you are?) guidance is emergency home and hospital baptisms only.

Think about it - is a weirdly spaced small affair really the light at the end of the tunnel that you want?

Or isn’t that nicer to look forward to doing it without restrictions? Which will happen.

I think you’d be left feeling sad it wasn’t done “properly”. I use inverted commas, because all the guests isn’t the proper part anyway.

Speak to your vicar. Is your congregation doing zoom services? Perhaps s/he could add a “we’d like to welcome Baby Pumper to our Christian family” and show some photos of him, and ask everyone to offer a simultaneous prayer of welcome? That would be such a lovely event, and might keep you going until restrictions are lifted.

Pumpertrumper Mon 01-Jun-20 17:35:35


I’m happy to plan for several months away. I’d happily have a September event but I just don’t see the point. The church won’t make any bookings, even in advance.

If there were at least a ‘religious events will resume as of X date’, then at least we could make plans but as it is we are stuck,

OP’s posts: |
Etcni Mon 01-Jun-20 17:37:44

Baptism is a sacrament so I wouldn't call it any less important than any other church gathering, but equally it's something for which it's important to have the other members of the congregation and family/friends present because of their promises to commit to the child's spiritual formation. Due to that, I don't think it would be feasible or desirable to have it happen before other church gatherings are allowed again - though it's definitely frustrating that others' rule-breaking may well be stopping things like this from happening for longer.

Pumpertrumper Mon 01-Jun-20 17:40:27


I totally get your point about waiting and doing it ‘properly’ but two very close family members may well not be with us in a years time. Including my DF. This heightens the sense of urgency. It’s shit.

I see 5 thousand idiots crammed onto beaches like sardines and just think ‘FFS, why can’t we have 10-15 people at a christening?’

OP’s posts: |
ConstanceSalinger Mon 01-Jun-20 17:40:36

In that case, I'd speak to the local clerk and see about booking in for winter / next spring. Ours might not be the normal for everywhere but it's roughly 4-6 months to book in during normal conditions. You don't get a separate service, it's part of the Sunday service (tip, avoid special church event Sundays like Pentecost, it's a blumin long one!) We also can't book in until we've had the "christening workshop" which they hold every quarter.

I know there's freelance vicars who'd likely do a service for you (not massively expensive but more than usual) which might suit your immediate needs more.

Ellisandra Mon 01-Jun-20 17:51:02

@Pumpertrumper I’m sorry to hear about your family. In that case, I’d speak to your old vicar (or new, but old one knows you) about what the guidance on “emergency” baptisms actually means. I expect only ill health of the baby, but it may be that they can do a baptism for you at home, that your family members can join online. It’s not the same I know, but if it’s really important to you to have those family members actually witness the sacrament, it’s a possible compromise?

Ellisandra Mon 01-Jun-20 17:51:55

Just to add - I know two girls who have had bat mitzvahs online during lockdown, and both have been a roaring success! Really special occasions.

covidco Mon 01-Jun-20 18:02:54

It depends - if you want your child baptised, that can be done easily at home. If you want a Christening (party alongside baptism), that is much further away.

Would you settle for a baptism at home and a garden tea part with nearest and dearest?

I'm sure the church would provide holywater for you.

Chloemol Mon 01-Jun-20 18:25:51

They wont know when churches will be able to start again, the6 need to see how this current release of lockdown goes

It’s tough, but best for all at the moment

mrsbyers Mon 01-Jun-20 18:36:20

Is it normal for a baby to be christened at 11 weeks old ?

Ellisandra Mon 01-Jun-20 18:44:53

@mrsbyers what an odd question.
There is no set age - I was baptised at 3 days, my friend at 23 when she chose to be, the last baby in my wife family at 6 months.

OP isn’t even trying to have her baby baptised at 11 weeks - she just wants to be able to plan it, and is upset that she can’t.

She’s already explained why she might choose sooner rather than later.

Ellisandra Mon 01-Jun-20 18:45:40

Mistyped that - I was at 6 days.

NotIncandescentWithRage Mon 01-Jun-20 18:48:19


Is it normal for a baby to be christened at 11 weeks old ?

Why does that matter?

OP, FWIW I agree with you and am also waiting very patiently for the ok to contact our church.

TheTiaraManager Mon 01-Jun-20 22:49:54

I sympathise OP. My baby's Christening was booked for just ages lockdown happened when all religious events were cancelled. She no longer fits the outfit I purchased and the shop won't return or exchange despite it having the tags on. We were having a really small event, just the godparents and grandparents but I feel so sad it was cancelled. So it would have been 10 people including us at the Christening & then lunch at a local hotel.

Like you it would be nice to have a date to look forward to but the Priest isn't booking in anything until lockdown is lifted. I completely understand his reasons for it. Like you I feel angry when I hear about lockdown breeches and parties etc

nothingcanhurtmewithmyeyesshut Mon 01-Jun-20 22:57:39

Why don't you plan a really nice one for this time next year? He'll be old enough then to enjoy it properly and his godparents will be able to hold him then too. Maybe a little afterparty too with his cousins if he has them?

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