Rites of Passage

Rites of Passage focuses on key celebrations of faith which can occur in the lives of children and young people; Baptism, Admission to Communion and Confirmation.


In baptism, we thank God for his gift of life and publicly acknowledge his love. We are often baptised as babies, though anybody of any age can be baptised.

The baptism usually takes place during a christening service and this marks the beginning of a lifelong journey of faith. During the service promises are made by the person being  christened or if too young, the promises are made by the parents and godparents. The congregation also promises to support the child and family.

Baptism is a 'sacrament', symbolising grace. It can be traced back to Jesus himself being baptised in the River Jordan.

Support for Baptisms

Church of England Christenings Supporting families whilst exploring Baptism; Before, During and After
What is a ChristeningExploring more about what a Christening means
Church Support Hub Supporting parishes with ideas to download and resources to purchase

Preparation, the Service and Following-up

Enabling Families to Connect Some ideas to help make the service engaging and accessible


Godparent Card An example of a card that could be given to Godparents at the Christening 
Ideas for Godparents Some ideas for Godparents to be more involved in the spiritual nature of children

Water used in baptism

Admission to Communion

The General Synod and the House of Bishops have discussed the question of children receiving communion before confirmation over many years. In November 1996, the first set of guidelines were issued by the House of Bishops and on 15 June 2006 these guidelines became Regulations under Canon B15A

The Diocese has produced some documents to help parishes explore this issue further:  
Parish Application Form, the 2006 Regulations and a Resources Guide with preparation ideas for both children and church.

Admission of Baptised Children to Holy Communion before Confirmation - Liturgy

Children & Communion


Confirmation is a celebration of the gifts of the Holy Spirit, a time of personal commitment and recognises the value of each person within the body of Christ. For candidates, their family and friends, confirmation is an important and unforgettable occasion. Preparation for confirmation, the service and the encouragement of discipleship following the day are very important and should be undertaken by candidates, clergy and congregations with appropriate care and reflection.

Confirmation gives us all the opportunity to rejoice in the depth of God’s love, to explore the breadth of the Christian faith and to set firm the foundations of faith for a lifetime.

Confirmation - Resources Guide for Young People Ideas of resources for preparation and gift ideas

Together round the Communion table

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