Holy Rood and Our Lady & St James

Baptism FAQ

Some frequently asked questions about Baptism:


In the Catholic Church, there is no fee for a Baptism. It is however appropriate to make an offering and a suggested donation of £45 (£35 Stole Fee; £10 Use of Church) would be reasonable. This can be given in an envelope to the Priest/Deacon at the time of the Baptism. If you cannot afford anything it does not matter and nobody will be offended.

How soon should I have my child baptised?

Children should be baptised within the first weeks after birth. Arrangements can even be made before the child is born (the priest will then also be able to give the blessing for an expectant mother and pray for the safe delivery of the child). It is wrong to put off a Baptism simply in order to have a more elaborate celebration party afterwards or in the misguided notion that your child will decide for themselves when they are older.

I am not married. Can my child be baptised?

Yes. A child may be baptised so long as there is a well-founded hope that they will be brought up in the practice of the Catholic faith. If you have any questions about marriage in the Catholic Church, please ask the priest because there are often misunderstandings in this area.

I do not live in either of the parishes. Can I have my child baptised in Holy Rood or Our Lady & St. James’?

Yes, if you regularly attend Mass at one of the churches. You will need to gain the permission of the Parish Priest of the parish in which you live beforehand however. If you are not coming to Mass, you need to decide which will be the church you are going to start attending. The Baptism will be delayed until such a time as the Parish Priest is satisfied that you are serious about the ongoing practice of your faith. It will usually be more appropriate (and more convenient) for you to start going to Mass at your local parish and to arrange the Baptism there. Regular (weekly) attendance at Sunday Mass (except for illness or other similar reason) on your part is assumed as this is an obligation you will be imposing upon your child in having him/her baptised.

How many Godparents should we have?

The Church’s Canon Law states that there should be one or two Godparents. If there are two, they should be a Godfather and a Godmother.

Who can be Godparents?

Godparents must be Practising Catholics over 16 years of age who themselves regularly come to Mass, and have been Confirmed. They must also be living a life of faith which befits the role to be to be undertaken. The parish priest can advise as to the suitability of individual candidates for the role of godparent.

What about non-Catholics?

Alongside a Catholic Godparent, a non-Catholic who is a baptised Christian may stand as a Christian witness.

Neither I nor my spouse is Catholic. Can our child/children be baptised Catholics?

Only if one of the parents decides to become a Catholic themselves. This is a process which involves prayer, instruction and sharing in the life of the Catholic community over several months at least. The most appropriate conclusion to this process is for the family to be baptised together. Please ask the priest for further details.

What is the first step?

The first step in getting your child Baptised is to arrange a meeting with the Parish Priest in order to complete paperwork.

After you and your partner/spouse have attended Mass for 6 weeks then a mutual date can be set.

What times are Baptisms?

Baptism normally take place outside of Mass at 11 am on Sundays at either Holy Rood or Our Lady & St. James.

What names are appropriate?

Since the newly Baptised is being admitted into the Catholic Church it is required that the name of a Catholic Saint be chosen amongst any other given names. This Saint will be the heavenly sponsor for the newly baptised – not only at Baptism but throughout the candidates life on earth.