Baptism and Confirmation

Baptism is initiation into the Church - it is the means of entry into, and belonging to, the fellowship of God’s people. As a symbol of new birth, it is also a sign of a new start with God, a sign of life and hope. The Church of England baptises with water, by immersion or pouring, in the threefold name of God – the name of the Father and of the Son (Jesus) and of the Holy Spirit.

The normal place for baptism in the Church of England is in the local parish churches. It is usually in the context of the local church that nurture and support in the journey of faith is best able to take place, where ministers and people who live nearby can get to know you, and where you can more easily gain a real sense of belonging to the church community. Anyone wishing to be baptised may do so in their local church. (To find out the parish in which you live, go to A Church Near You and type in your postcode.)

It is unusual, therefore, for people to be baptised in the Cathedral. When this does take place, it is normally when the candidate (or parents of the candidate, in the case of an infant) meets one of the following criteria:

  • lives in the Residual Parish of the Cathedral
  • has been a regular worshipper for at least six months and considers it to be their ‘home’ church
  • has a demonstrable connection (e.g. is a member of staff)
  • has a demonstrable connection with the Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment, whose Regimental Chapel is in Manchester Cathedral.

Age of baptism candidates

People are baptised at any age in the Church of England, from new-born to a ripe old age.

When and where does baptism take place?

Baptism usually takes place at the main Sunday morning service, the 10.30am Sung Eucharist. Although people are sometimes surprised by this, it is in accordance with the rules of the Church of England, which state that “Baptism is normally administered in the cause of public worship and Sunday ‘when most number of people come together.’” (Canon B21)

There are several Sundays designated to baptism throughout the year in the Cathedral diary. If you wish to take an enquiry further, we will be able to let you know the forthcoming dates.

In the reordering of 2013, the font was moved from the Regiment Chapel to the newly created baptistry, by the main south porch.  This means that the whole of the baptism and Sunday Eucharist can take place in the Nave.

Booking a baptism

The easiest way to book a baptism is to talk to one of the clergy after a service in the Cathedral. Alternatively, you may write  to the Canon Pastor. The Canon Pastor will get in touch with you to arrange a meeting.

Preparation for baptism

Candidates are always asked to attend baptism preparation at the Cathedral. This usually takes place on a Sunday morning after the Sung Eucharist, but may be at other times by arrangement. When a candidate is an infant, then the parents and, if possible the godparents, attend the preparation.


Confirmation is an act of commitment to follow Jesus Christ, usually made by a young person or adult, in which they confirm their faith as promised at their baptism. This confirmation of faith is made in the presence of a bishop, who lays hands on each candidate, praying for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon them.

When an adult is making a profession of faith in Jesus Christ for the first time in their life, and has not previously been baptised, baptism and confirmation often takes place in the same service.

The route to confirmation is very similar to that of baptism (above). The Cathedral holds an annual service of confirmation once a year, during the summer, and has an annual confirmation preparation schedule for this – divided into appropriate age-groups. The preparation groups are well advertised in the Cathedral’s weekly news-sheets, which are available at the Sunday services and on the welcome desk.

If you are interested in Confirmation, please speak to one of the clergy after a service, or write to the Canon Pastor.

Wondering about baptism or confirmation, but not sure?

If you are thinking about issues surrounding the meaning of life and the Christian faith, and would like to explore more before taking a big step, then do speak with any of the clergy – either after a service or by contacting them via this website. There are occasional discussion groups through the year, and an enquirers’ group that usually meets in the spring/early summer time. 

Click here to discover all you need to know about choosing, planning and going to a Church of England christening.