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A big thank you to
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their help with the
extension of
All Saints' Church




Can I have hymns at the baptism service?

What we find works well is to sing hymns and songs unaccompanied - then it isn’t simply a duo with just myself at the front and the organist at the back of the church!

If you would like to sing hymns then we can discuss this, and together choose hymns which have appropriate words for the occasion and tunes which most people know.

You may be surprised at how good at singing your family and friends are!

What happens if I live in another parish?

The key question is to be clear about which Church Family you will be joining as you fulfil the vows you have taken in the baptism service.

It may be that you got married in our parish and so you would like to have the baptism of your child in the same church as your wedding. But now you live some distance away so that it is not practical for you to make a regular (monthly) commitment to worship here. In this case, the obvious long-term arrangement will be for you to join your local Church Family.

The way forward to fulfil your desire to have your child baptised in this parish is for you to let me know the name and telephone number of your local Rector or Vicar. I will then telephone him or her and let him or her know about your request and seek his or her approval for the baptism to be held here. He or she will probably want to know about the baptism preparation arrangements, and we can work out if that is best done here or in your local parish. Then, after the baptism, I will post the baptism certificate to your local church for you to receive it in the context of one of their Sunday services. In this way you will have the chance to get to know the members of your local Church Family and build up links with them.

If you live more locally then it is not so much a question of distance as where you feel welcome and where you want to belong. Traditionally, the ministry of the Church of England has been organised according to parishes, each with its distinct boundaries. This arrangement still continues, but my colleagues and I recognise that there is now a lot of overlap. In centuries past, the villages in this region of the North Downs were small farming communities that were largely independent and had separate identities. However, in recent times there have been great changes. We may live in one village, our children may go to school in another village, and we may go to the bank and shops in yet another location. This is especially true of our local area covering the communities of Hartley, Fawkham, New Ash Green, Longfield and New Barn.


In terms of baptism, the most important thing is to discover where you feel most at home and where you will be happy fulfilling your vows to bring up your child within the life of the Church. This is often your own parish church, on the basis that the other families you will soon get to know will be those you will meet elsewhere in the local community e.g. at the toddler group, at the local playgroup, at the school gate, at Brownies/Beavers, and so on. The Church Family is a vital part of the local community, and the friendships you will make here will last over many years as your family grows up.

The churches in our area belong to a deanery and we work closely together. We recognise that our Church Families are made up of members drawn from the different villages in our area. Our chief concern is that you will find a Church Family where you will feel at home and where your faith will be nurtured over the years. If you live in a nearby but different parish and would like your child to be baptised in our parish, as a matter of courtesy I will let my colleague know, and we can take things on from there. Our aim is to work together to support you and your family.

What do we do now?

If you would like to arrange to have your child baptised in our parish, then I suggest that the best way to contact me is to send me your details on the form that can be found here and then come along to one of our 'Family Services' on a Sunday and see me after the service. This will give you the opportunity to join in with our Church Family worship, and will then be able to arrange a time to meet with you to discuss the baptism in more detail. Details of all our services can be found by clicking here.


† First Thoughts About Baptism
† Initial Home Visit
† Act of Blessing and Thanksgiving
† Belonging to the Church Family
† Baptism Preparation Classes
† Godparents
† The Baptism Service
† Receiving the Baptism Certificate
† Communion Services
† Young Children and Church
† Nurturing Your Child's Faith at    Home
† Other questions

To contact us:
Phone: 01474 703819
Fax: 01474 704972
The Rectory
3 St John's Lane
Kent DA3 8ET

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