Baptism is the first Sacrament we receive and the gateway to the other Sacraments.

By Baptism we are adopted into God’s family and become members of Christ’s mystical body, the Church. Jesus becomes our brother and Mary, his mother, our spiritual mother while every other baptised Christian is our spiritual brother or sister. Baptism leaves a spiritual mark of belonging to Christ on our soul which can never be deleted.

The first Christians accepted the faith as adults but were determined that their children should receive the new life which they themselves had embraced as soon as possible. In Catholic tradition therefore children are baptised soon after birth, ‘within the first few weeks’, to welcome them into the Church. Baptism is a Sacrament of great joy; it is our first encounter with the Lord.

The Chaplains are always pleased to meet parents seeking baptism for their child in the Cathedral. It is required that there should be a ‘well-founded hope’ that the child will be brought up in the Catholic faith. Baptisms take place on Saturdays at 11.30am and 1.30pm in the Cathedral. Alternative times may be arranged for baptisms at Sacred Heart Church, Horseferry Road SW1P 2EF.

Infants should have a sponsor and may have two sponsors (one male, one female). The sponsor should not be less than 16 years old, and must be a baptised, confirmed and practising Catholic. The father or mother may not act as the child’s sponsor. If a child is the first to be born in a family, the parents and, desirably, the godparents will be invited to attend a session of Baptism Preparation.

If you are an adult and have never received the Sacrament of Baptism, please visit our Becoming a Catholic page.

‘Baptism is the door of the spiritual life
and the gateway to the Sacraments.’

St Thomas Aquinas