Getting Baptised


We are delighted that you are coming to us for baptism (also called christening) and we look forward to this special day for you.

If you would like to arrange a baptism, please contact our Benefice Administrator, Michelle Bailey-Wells, on 01993 779 492 or  You will need to fill in this Baptism Application Form

If you are unsure about what is involved in a baptism service, here are links to some Church of England guides to baptism:

What is Baptism?

Baptism marks the beginning of a life-long journey with God, supported by the community of faith, as well as by godparents or sponsors. There are four main symbols used in the sacrament of Baptism; below you will find a brief explanation of each one.

Oil of Catechumens


There are two oils used at baptism: the oil of catechumens, or baptism, and the oil of chrism. These oils will have been blessed by a bishop on Maundy Thursday. The first oil used is the oil of baptism. The priest makes the sign of the cross on the forehead of the person being baptised with this oil. This is like a badge of faith, worn for the rest of our life, and a symbol that we belong to Christ (another name for Jesus). The shape of the cross reminds us of Christ’s death for us.



Water is symbolic throughout the bible, from the waters of creation and the rescue of the ancient Israelites from slavery in Egypt through the Red Sea to Jesus’ own baptism in the river Jordan by John the Baptist. Water symbolises life, refreshment and cleansing.

In baptism, we are cleansed from sin, dying to our old life and rising from the waters of baptism to new life, just as Christ died and rose again, and we become a part of the story of salvation (God’s rescuing of God’s people).

During baptism, the priest blesses the water so that it becomes ‘holy,' or set apart, for the special use of baptism. In this way, we believe that we are ‘born again’ by water and the Spirit.

Oil of Chrism

Oil 2

The second oil used at baptism is the oil of chrism, which is the same oil used at coronations, a reminder that the person being baptised is like a king or queen in God’s sight. It is also an oil of commissioning, used at confirmations (when a person who has been baptised confirms the promises made at their baptism) and ordinations (when a person becomes a deacon or priest), reminding us that all the baptised have a job to do, spreading the good news of God’s love for all people. This oil has a sweet smell and is smeared across the forehead as a sign of the sealing in of the Holy Spirit received at baptism.



A candle is used to represent the light of Christ and Christ’s conquering of the powers of darkness through his death and resurrection. In baptism, we pray that we will take on the light of Christ ourselves and reflect it in the world today. It is traditional to light this candle each year on the anniversary of our baptism as a reminder and celebration of our baptism.


    If a child or adult is in immediate danger or requires immediate medical attention, call the emergency services on 999. If there are concerns about their immediate welfare, don’t delay: call Children and Adult’s Social care on 0345 050 7666 or the MASH Out of Hours Emergency Duty Team: 0800 833408. Also please inform one of Parish Safeguarding Team.
    For other safeguarding concerns please immediately inform our Parish Safeguarding Officer, Alison, on 07884 074812 or her Deputy, Sarah Jane, on 07506 515 952 or Pauline on 01993 648136. You can also email concerns to
    If you are unsure or worried about how serious a situation is, contact the Diocesan Safeguarding Team on 01865 208295 or For enquiries outside of operational hours, contact Thirtyone:eight on 0303 003 1111.

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Contact Us

Contact details

Please contact the Benefice Office if you have any enquires for the five churches in our benefice: St Mary the Virgin, Church Green Witney Oxfordshire OX28 4AW | 01993 779 492 | 

Church addresses 

St Mary the Virgin Church Green Witney Oxfordshire OX28 4AW 
Holy Trinity Church Woodgreen OX28 1DN 
St John the Baptist,
Curbridge 2 Church Row, Curbridge Witney OX29 7NU
Hailey Church
Middletown Hailey Witney OX29 9UB
St Kenelm’s Church
 Minster Lovell OX29 0RR (updated 23-09-21)

Safeguarding concerns: