Jarrow Cluster of Catholic Churches

How do I arrange a Baptism?

First of all, especially if you have a new-born baby, - Congratulations!

We are delighted to welcome babies or children for Baptism. In the four parishes of Jarrow we follow the same approach.

To begin the process you need to contact Fr. Adrian Dixon, Fr Saji Thottathil or Deacon Kevin Atkinson.

The priest or deacon will arrange dates with you for the Baptism of your child and a short Welcome Ceremony that takes place during Sunday Mass. He will also tell you about a short course that parents attend in order to prepare for their child’s Baptism.

What happens on the course?

A team of parish catechists will meet you on two occasions. They will explore with you what this Sacrament is all about and try to answer any questions you may have. They will help you to understand the ceremonies of Welcome and Baptism. Information will be given about choosing any scripture readings, prayers and hymns you may wish to have during the Baptism.

The catechists will also keep in touch, inviting you back to join in celebrations with other children and parents.

How much does it cost?

Nothing - we do not make any charge to welcome a new member into the Church.

However, if you would like to make a donation to help with parish expenses anything you give will be gratefully received.

I haven’t been to Church for a long time will that make any difference?

Don’t worry. You are not going to be told off but you will be encouraged to come back to Mass. It is necessary that at least one parent of a child presented for baptism should be a Catholic. We would normally expect this person to be prepared to come regularly to Sunday Mass with the child.

How much commitment is asked?

Before your child can be baptised the Church says there must be a ‘well founded hope that the child will be brought up in the Catholic religion’. This means that asking for Baptism is about faith and faith is about what we believe, how we live and how we worship – the faith of the parents, the godparents and eventually the child.

Is it all right that my partner is not a Catholic?

It makes no difference. Your partner will be made very welcome and encouraged to take part in the preparation and in the ceremony as much as possible.

We are not married, is that a problem?

You will not be made to feel uncomfortable about this. We are mainly concerned with welcoming you and your child. Jesus welcomed everyone and we try our best to imitate him.

If you are able to marry in the Catholic Church we would love to encourage you to do this. There is a place on this website ‘how do I get married’ that gives you some details of how to arrange a wedding.

I’m a single parent, can I still have my child baptised?

Of course you can. The important thing is that you want to help your child to grow up in the Catholic faith.

I am not sure about having my child baptised or what it all means, should I not bother?

It is a wonderful thing to bring a child to God for baptism. Do you remember the time when parents were bringing their children to Jesus for him to bless them? The disciples turned them away and this made Jesus tell them off. He said, ‘Do not stop them, for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs’. Baptism is part of bringing children to Jesus. He wants to have a close and special relationship with your child. It is up to you, of course, but it is certainly very rewarding.

What about godparents?

There must be at least one Catholic godparent to help your child grow as a member of the Church. If you also want to ask people who are not Catholic to act as witnesses to Christian faith and to help your child develop in the spiritual life that is a good thing to do.

What if I am an adult and would like to be baptised?

Sometimes for various reasons a person has not been baptised when they were young. It is wonderful if, in later years, that person would like to become a member of the Church. We run a special period of preparation called ‘RCIA’ (Rite of the Christian Initiation of Adults) which in some parishes is known as ‘Journey in Faith’. There is a separate page on this website telling how to find out more about this under ‘How do I become a Catholic?