Baptism is the first step of a journey into full membership of the Family of God, the Church. Here in the parish of St John Paul II we welcome applications both from parents for their children to be baptised, and from adults who themselves wish to undergo appropriate preparation for reception into the Church.

Normally, we would require all applicants to be resident in this parish. If anyone from elsewhere has good reason to choose Holy Cross or St Mary's for baptism, it will be necessary to discuss this first with the priest in the parish where you live.

Adult receptions will normally take place at Easter, and the programme for preparation is the "Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults" or "RCIA". Anyone interested in this programme should speak firstly to the Parish Priest, (without any obligation). You will not be pressured in any way or at any stage. The programme, should you choose to begin it, is a journey of discovery and discernment and you will be encouraged to discover for yourself whether God is calling you into his Church at this moment or not. Should you choose to leave the programme or take a break until later, we will always respect your choice. This Faith journey is, after all, your own.

For children being brought for Baptism, you as parents will be their first and most important teachers in the Faith - please be sure when you ask that it is your genuine wish to support and encourage your child at every step of their Faith journey until they are old enough to make their own mature and informed decisions. If you would like your child baptised, please come along to Mass and, if it is relatively new to you, make a point of becoming a part of the community here. You are asking that your child become part of the Family of God here in this parish - so strive to ensure that you and your child recognise yourselves as truly a part of this family. You will be made most welcome! Once you are settled in the community, you can discuss appropriate preparation for the Sacrament with Sister Jenny. (Normally we would expect that at least one parent is Catholic when you ask for baptism for your child - only as a full member of the Church family yourself can you really support your child on their journey into the Church).

And finally, please be aware that preparation for such an important Sacrament takes time! We will not begin by "booking a date", but we will support you every step of the way.