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to do a christening - baptising-nothing

(12 Posts)
TracyK Thu 20-Jan-05 10:48:26

Does anyone know the advantages/disadvantages of doing any of the above in the short and long term.
eg schooling, marriages,changing religion etc.
I am Catholic and my dh is Church of Scotland. ds born and living in England and is 10mo.
We're not particularly religious but dh is quite keen for a naming cermony- I'm not fussed either way.
But don't want to do nothing and regret it or do something and also regret it - iykwim.

lunavix Thu 20-Jan-05 10:51:29

We had a christening, neither of us is particularly religious (I wouldn't name myself as anything) but we liked the idea of godparents ie a few close friends of ours that we really want tied in with ds's future. It was lovely for them that they now have a special tie with him, and it was really their and his day.

We'd have probably just had a naming ceremony and there's mobile people that do it in your location for you, but it was quite dear (we were picky with our dates as one godparent came from hong kong) and it was upwards of £300, which we just didn't have.

Tbh it was just a lovely day, and I thought personally if we put it off till ds was old enough to understand, it probably wouldn't happen? ('mum you want me to go to church? what about football???')

lunavix Thu 20-Jan-05 10:53:05

Some schools are also fussy about whether the child has been christened - but there is a vast range of religions covered by the schools!

Catholic schools are the ones who put preferences on baptised children (I think) but you still go on the list - just a little further down.

fisil Thu 20-Jan-05 11:05:34

we had a naming ceremony. We are both "committed" (I think is the best way to sum us up) - dp is as aetheist as I am Anglican. But we were both brought up with religion, and we both feel that rejecting or adopting a religion was important to us. So we had a service in our church which dp helped to write (in fact he was more keen for God references than the vicar!) in which we asked family and friends to share our happiness at ds' arrival. We invited 2 friends with the same beliefs as us to be "The Godfather" and "godless Mother" who will encourage & answer ds' questions about religion etc. and one friend to be "fairy godmother" - as we felt an important role of a godparent is to be biased for you against your siblings & parents! - so it is her job to spoil him & make him feel special. (they all chose their own titles!) Ds will then be able to decide when he is older whether he does want to be baptised or not.

Re advantages/disadvantages, we decided to think only of the advantages to ds. We wanted him to be able to make his own, informed decision about what and how to believe. And we wanted him to have special people to look out for him. We are surrounded by excellent and competitive church schools (someone said last night that you have to be the pope's son to get into the local catholic), but we felt that we didn't want to go against our beliefs and principles for the sake of getting him into some school. We're just about to start looking for a primary school, so maybe we'll change our tune (although I think that Anglican schools are happy to accept a child from a worshipping family fully involved in their church's life who happened not to be baptised, but as lunavix said, I think Catholic schools are more interested in the certificate of baptism - might be wrong, though)

frogs Thu 20-Jan-05 11:21:43

Naling my colours to the mast here...

My children are all baptised, as we're Catholics and do practise our faith. I'm not entirely comfortable with the idea of having a child baptised just so that they can get into a particular school, but I know plenty of people do it. For a Catholic baptism you might well have to convince the priest that you are intending to bring the child up as a Catholic, ie. he may expect you to start attending Mass. Same goes for getting married in a Catholic church, but that's a way off yet!

wrt to school admissions, it depends how oversubscribed the schools are. Here in central London, you have to show the baptismal certificate before they'll even let you put the child's name down for a Catholic primary school, and to stand a real chance you need a reference from the priest stating that you attend Mass every Sunday. But in other parts of the country schools do take non-Catholic kids too, so you'd have to check locally.

I like fisil's idea of a naming ceremony, which is what I would choose in preference to having to pay lipservice to a religion I didn't really believe in.

elliott Thu 20-Jan-05 11:28:01

I am a committed atheist and had informal welcoming/naming parties for both ds's - mainly becuase a) I like parties; b)I think rite of passage rituals are important even for us non-religious types and c) I really wanted to celebrate our joy at the ds's safe arrival.
I would never choose a faith school for my children and personally feel that religion shouldn't be hijacked for that purpose (i.e. have a child baptised to increase their chances of getting into a certain school). BUt others may think that's taking it all a bit seriously!

TracyK Thu 20-Jan-05 19:46:25

tbh - I don't think I have a preference for a particular school - but people have mentioned that I may not be able to get him into ANY school if he's not 'done'??
I would really like him to be baptised into the catholic church as even though I'm not practising - it's from lazienes rather than from non belief and it pisses me off that dh wouldn't entertain the thought of catholic baptism - yet I'd be willing to consider Church of England/Scotland.
Maybe being raised as a catholic has ingrained it into me.

ionesmum Thu 20-Jan-05 23:27:55

Hi, Tracy. We've had both of our dds baptised in the CofE and each occasion was very beautiful. We are practising Anglicans.

Leaving aside the sacramental aspect of baptism, which isn't what you are asking about, the advantages of it aren't that many. My dh isn't baptised and I am, so getting married in an Anglican church was fine. Your ds may or may not want a church wedding - if he does and neither he nor his wife to be has been baptised then they may be required to be, but not all churches ask for this and some definitely don't, and if it matters to him that much then he would probably want to be baptised anyway. I don't know of any schools that refuse to take unbaptised children - certainly CofE schools take people from all faith and none, although competition for places can be stiff in some areas, and so church membership can be an advantage. For state schools it is irrelevant. In terms of changing religion, if your ds doesn't believe as an adult it will mean nothing. If he stays within the denomination into which you have him baptised or changes to another, with the exception of the Baptists, his baptism would normally be recognised, and he could choose to be confirmed/accepted in whatever church he chooses, after whatever preparation the church requires. The Baptists don't recognize infant baptism and so would baptise him as an adult.

Why not contact your local priest (RC or CofE) and have a chat? What churches do the other mums you know go to? Perhaps there is a really child-friendly one that would appeal to you.


amynnixmum Thu 20-Jan-05 23:38:38

Hi Tracy,
Have not read the other posts but wanted to say you are in the exact same position as my sis and bil. She is a catholic and he is church of Scotland. Their dd was born and lives in England and she is 11 months now. Neither of them is particularly religious but they decided they wanted a naming ceremony. In the end they opted for a catholic ceremony and i think that part of their reason for that was to help my niece get into a good school. Like you my sis wasn't and isn't practicing and I think if BIL had had strong connection with his faith she would have been happy to do it his way. He didn't though and it turned out that our family had stronger ties to the church so they went that route. HTH.

lockets Thu 20-Jan-05 23:46:11

Message withdrawn

Ameriscot2005 Fri 21-Jan-05 00:08:13

Baptism involves making lots of promises. If you don't believe in these promises, what's the point?

You can be baptised at any time - it doesn't have to be done as an infant. I was baptised when I was 32 and had my kids done at age 6, 4 and 9 mo. My 5 and 2 yo have not yet been baptised, and at the rate we are going, will probably take themselves to baptism at the same time as confirmation (around age 16, or whenever they feel ready to make the committment).

RC, Anglican, Presbyterian baptisms all have the same meaning, and are valid in each other's churches should you make a switch.

As for schools, it depends on the individual one. DS is going to a very Catholic senior school and they haven't asked about baptism at all. A lot of C of E schools are likely to ask about involvement in Parish life rather than baptism, as many evangelicals do not support infant baptism.

jessicasmummy Fri 21-Jan-05 00:38:43

got dd christened on 5th dec. she was just 4 months old.
dh is against religion completely but realised how important it was to me that i feel jessica needs to know about it all to make her own choice later in life.
godparents are my brother and his fiance who are both commited christians and attend church each week so i know jess will get all the guidance she needs.

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