christening

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nannylove
Posts: 24
Joined: Sat Oct 15, 2011 3:12 pm

christening

Post by nannylove » Wed Jan 18, 2012 6:31 pm

so sorry for being a pain on here, but just wondered if anyone knows if i can get my grandchildren christened and how you go about it regarding the parents and the family to one of them. thank you x

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David
Posts: 126
Joined: Tue Jun 01, 2004 12:35 pm
Location: South West England

Re: christening

Post by David » Thu Jan 19, 2012 2:41 pm

nannylove,
I cannot remember your exact legal status with the grandchildren, but I think it will all come down to who has PR.

Have just noticed that you have a SGO, so I think that your "overiding PR" may give the right to have grandchildren christened. However, it would surely be best to try and gain parental agreement, and you may find that clergy are reluctant to christen without the involvement of birth parents.
David - former grandparent carer through Residence Order

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David
Posts: 126
Joined: Tue Jun 01, 2004 12:35 pm
Location: South West England

Re: christening

Post by David » Thu Jan 19, 2012 3:03 pm

The following is rather legalistic, but might help:
Baptism of a Child when One Parent Objects or Does Not Consent:
Guidelines for Clergy

The Canon Law of the Church of England has never required the consent of a parent before a child is baptised or else emergency baptism would often have proved impossible.
In relation to a healthy infant, Canon B22 envisages the involvement of a child’s parents or guardians. The word “parent” in Canon B22 must be construed as referring to a person having parental responsibility for the child.
A person having parental responsibility can be:
a) A child’s father and mother if married to each other at the time of the birth.
b) A natural father but only if parental responsibility has been gained by order of the civil court or by a parental responsibility agreement.
c) Adopted parents
d) A guardian appointed by the civil courts.

The minister to whom a child has been brought for baptism should make enquiries to discover the identity of those having parental responsibility for the child and must endeavour to instruct all such persons in accordance with the provisions of Canon B22(4).

In order to carry out their responsibilities under the preceding paragraph the minister may postpone the baptism save in an emergency (Canon B22(3)).

If a parent does not agree to baptism or refuses to be prepared or instructed the minister should apply to the diocesan bishop for guidance and directions under Canon C18.

If the minister learns that a court order to prohibit baptism has been made or is being sought, the minister should refuse baptism until the matter has been resolved by the Court: in the meantime the minister should inform the bishop as to the reason for the refusal.

If told of the existence of an order of the court forbidding a baptism a minister who nevertheless administers baptism would be in danger of having to answer to the civil court and this applies whether or not there is an emergency.
David - former grandparent carer through Residence Order

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David Roth
Posts: 2022
Joined: Thu Aug 10, 2006 10:14 am

Re: christening

Post by David Roth » Tue Jan 24, 2012 11:42 am

nannylove, you are not being a pain. These are important questions.

As David's reponse implies, the decision about baptising a child should be made by the people with parental responsibility. Unless the child has been adopted, that will always include the mother, and it will often include the father as well.

If you want your grandchildren to be baptised, then you ought to be consulting the parents. If you have a difficult relationship with them, then maybe someone else in the family could help you have the discussion with them. If there are social workers involved, maybe they could help.

A lot could come down to how the parents will react. It would be a shame if they were able to spoil a special day for the child and the family, but perhaps with a bit of help and support they could help make the day a success as well.
David Roth
FRG Policy Adviser

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