St George the Martyr Church, Shirley


Anyone is welcome to be baptised at St George’s, children and adults. Baptisms normally take place during the 10.00am Sunday service. For general questions on Baptisms, please click here ( and for further information about Baptisms at St George’s please contact Rev Barry Hengist on 020 8654 8747 or via email

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I ask for a Baptism on any Sunday and at any time?
Each year, we set aside set dates for Baptismal Services, which are incorporated in our main 10.00am family service. These usually fall on the fourth Sunday of the month, but may be subject to change if there are special or seasonal services falling on these dates.
Occasionally it may be possible to arrange a private baptism at 12.30pm on a Sunday, but this would usually be to accommodate specific pastoral concerns and would need to be agreed between yourselves and Rev Barry Hengist.

Can anyone be baptised at St George’s ? Age is no barrier to baptism and we welcome anyone who wishes to be baptised at St George’s . For individuals who live outside the parish it will be necessary to seek agreement with your own local parish vicar.

Are there any conventions or rules around who can be a Godparent? The most important thing to consider when choosing Godparents is to ensure individuals are willing to take their responsibilities to support you and your child in developing their faith seriously. Godparents must have been baptised themselves, but if they have not yet been baptised and would like to be, we can baptise both Godparent and child within the same service. This can be quite a special occasion.
The Church of England suggests that you should have three Godparents, two of the same sex as the child and one of the opposite sex. You should take this as your guide but not feel restricted by this.

Can I choose a Godparent who cannot attend the service? Yes. Godparents should make every effort to be present, but if this is impossible through sickness or because of living abroad, somebody else can act as proxy for them on the day.

Does my child (or do I) have to wear a special robe or change clothes during the service?No. Scripture and tradition suggests that white is a sign of purity, but practice varies among families. You may choose to opt for the traditional Christening gown or prefer a more modern approach and dress children (especially boys) in ordinary clothes.
The Baptism involves pouring water over the head, so you should not get too wet.

What Now? How can I arrange for child/myself to be baptised at St George’s ? Your first point of contact will be Rev Barry Hengist, who will put you in touch with the parish Baptism Coordinator, Lucy Bloss, who will confirm the date and complete the relevant paperwork. She will also be able to answer any queries you may have in the run up to the baptism. For families new to St George’s, a member of the Baptismal Visiting Team will normally make a date to come and talk you through the service with you in your home a week or so before the service.