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St Ursula's Church in Berne one of the English-speaking chaplaincies in the Swiss Archdeaconry of the Anglican/Episcopalian Diocese in Europe (Church of England). We cover the city of Berne and the surrounding area, which includes the cantons of Berne, Fribourg and much of Solothurn.
Christening, baptism. What's the difference?
None. "Christening" is the more popular name and "baptism" is the official term used in church service books etc.
When can we have our baby baptized?
We have about 4 or 5 Sundays a year which are earmarked for baptisms and we can discuss with you which is the most suitable. Baptisms always take place during the main Sunday service, at 10 o'clock.
Some of our family don't speak English
Kein Problem! We can include parts of the service in German or French (or even both).
Do we need Godparents?
Yes. Godparents present children for baptism and to promise to support them and to help their parents bring up the children in the Christian faith. Godparents must be baptized and preferably confirmed. It is usual to have two godparents of the same sex as the candidate and one of the other sex. You may have more than three godparents and two (one of each sex) is the minimum.
Fine. What do we do next?
Please complete a booking form and return it to the Church Office, either by email or post (address St Ursula's Church, Jubiläumsplatz 2, Bern 3005, Switzerland).
The chaplain (that's what we call the vicar, priest or minister) will contact you to arrange a meeting and some preparation for the service.
We don't live in Switzerland
So long as you have a good reason for having the baptism here, we're happy to help.
If you are not going to be in Switzerland until just before the baptism, we can probably sort out most of the details by email. You will also need to arrange to attend a baptism preparation session at your local church (of any denomination) and give details of this to the chaplain here. If you live in England you should contact your local Church of England vicar anyway, as you are his/her parishioners, and tell her/him about the baptism.
How much does it cost?
We don't charge for baptisms - but a donation is always welcome!