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The First Sacrament of Initiation

What is Baptism?

The Sacrament of Baptism is the first rite of Christian initiation and represents the beginning of a lifelong journey of commitment and discipleship for Catholics.  


Through Baptism we are set free from sin, made God's adopted sons and daughters, are welcomed into the church family and made co-participants in her work.


Every other baptised Christian becomes our spiritual brother or sister, and Jesus becomes our spiritual brother and Mary, his mother, our spiritual mother. Our souls receive a spiritual imprint from baptism that identifies us as followers of Christ that cannot be removed.

At Baptism, parents promise to raise their child in the practice of the faith, by attending Mass, praying with them and imparting to them the teachings of the Catholic Church.

Important information for Parents/Guardians requesting infant baptism for their children

Baptisms are performed on the 2nd and 4th Sundays of the month at 1.00 pm. Please note we are unable to book your child’s Baptism until we have received all the documents that are required.

1. Persons living outside of the parish of St Mary's

If you live outside the Parish but regularly attend St Mary’s Church, please obtain permission from your Parish Priest for the baptism to take place at St Mary’s, as a matter of courtesy.

2. Forms to complete
Baptismal forms can be downloaded below. Alternatively, you can also collect a form via the parish office or request a form by emailing Completed forms should be returned to the parish office via email or in person. Guardians should contact one of the priests or one of the St Mary’s office team to complete any other formalities.



3. Documents to produce

Parents or guardians must produce their own baptism certificate and show this to one of the Parish Team. Godparents must produce their own confirmation certificate and show it to one of the Parish Team.

4. Godparents

Cannon Law states that there should be one male and one female godparent. Any additional godparents will be recognised as witnesses. At least one of the godparents of the child to be baptised must be a baptised and confirmed Catholic and over the age of 16. The confirmation certificate of this godparent must be shown to one of the Parish Team.

5. Baptism Preparation Sessions
To prepare for the baptism ceremony, parents or guardians are required to attend two preparation sessions. It is only mandatory for one parent/guardian to participate in these sessions, and you are encouraged to leave the infant to be baptised at home. Please do not bring toddlers with you to these sessions. The preparation sessions are led by a parishioner.

6. The Welcoming
Prior to the day of baptism, you and your child will have the opportunity to be formally welcomed by the community at one of the Masses on Sunday. Please arrange the date and time with one of the Parish Team. At the arranged Mass, please sit near the front of the church where you are near at hand when called forward.

7. The day of the Baptism

Please bring a white garment for the baptised child. St Mary’s will provide a baptismal candle.

You are requested to make an offering to contribute to Church expenses. This can be done by giving cash/cheque in an envelope to the Priest on the day, by using the card machines in the church under “Mass Stipend” or by making a bank transfer to:

Bank: Natwest Bank

Sort Code: 60-00-01

Account No: 08554145

Account Name: Congregation of the most Holy Redeemer, Clapham 10826103

Adult Baptisms

If you want to be baptised as an adult, you must complete some training through the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA).

Please contact the Parish Priest for more details.

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